3 min read

Live from Open Source Summit North America

Today I’m in Los Angeles to give a keynote at Open Source Summit North America. As I’ve prepared for my talk, I’ve been reflecting on Microsoft’s open source journey, and all that has happened since last year’s event. I’ve talked to people inside and outside Microsoft about what this shift has meant for our customers, for our culture, and for the broader open source community. Through these conversations, what stands out to me the most is that we would not be where we are without the collaboration and support from those of you across the open source community. To each of you who have tested, contributed to, or provided feedback on our products and journey – thank you!
I also realized what a big year it’s been for our open source journey, from the technology we’ve delivered, to how we work with the community, to our continued cultural shift. We’ve joined the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Foundry Foundation, and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. New Linux VMs have outpaced Windows VMs on Azure. Visual Studio Code, our open source editor, passed 2 million monthly active users. We’ve brought new tools and services – like MySQL and Postgres managed services – to Azure, and we’ve continued to work to bring flagship products like SQL Server to Linux so it’s easier for developers to take advantage of these technologies for their cloud applications.
As we continue to work towards making Azure the best cloud for developers, we want to reduce friction, so they can quickly build and deploy open source-based solutions without having to maintain the underlying servers and operating system. Just last week, we brought Azure App Service, which enables developers to quickly build, deploy and scale applications without having to maintain the underlying web servers or operating systems, to Linux. With integrated CI/CD, deployment slots and auto scaling, developers can get applications to customers much faster. Now that it’s available on Linux, developers get built-in image support for ASP.NET Core, Node.js, PHP and Ruby on Linux, as well as an option to bring their own Docker-formatted container images supporting Java, Python, Go and more. I encourage you to try it out here.
We’ve also accelerated our contributions to open source projects.  Microsoft has over 16,000 contributors on GitHub, and have released more than 3,000 open source projects. Our open source programs office tracks nearly 10,000 open source components across the company. And we’re learning from open source communities how to continue making open source and Linux first-class experiences on Azure and across our flagship platforms.
So, perhaps the most profound impact of our open source journey is how it’s changed our culture. The journey to a more open culture at Microsoft is one that’s deeply personal to me. I started at Microsoft as a developer 25 years ago, and I’ve seen my share of shifts at the company. This is one of the most striking. Not so long ago, a developer would need permission to look at open source code. But over the past few years, everything changed. Today it is the norm for senior leaders to encourage developers to go explore open source projects and join communities, and my team has led projects like the open sourcing of .NET and C#, and establishing the Microsoft Open Source Program Office.
The impact of this culture shift has also changed how we develop, how we work with communities, our customers and each other. Conducting the design and planning process in the open creates a clear sense of the customer scenario and a personal connection to the people it impacts. I’ve seen this excite and invigorate both new and familiar talent at Microsoft, I’ve seen how it helps us build better products, and I’ve seen what we can contribute to open source projects outside Microsoft.
An open dialog with so many vibrant open source communities and their collective knowledge and talent makes us better. It creates a continuous feedback loop. This has led to numerous changes in how we build and improve products, but one of the most significant changes is the speed at which we hold ourselves accountable. Many of our teams hold themselves to an SLA for responding to issues and pull requests, which allows us to better understand our customer needs and address issues much faster.
However, I want to be clear that we are far from done. We are still newcomers to this community, and we have a lot more to learn. I’ll share some of the things we have learned so far along our open source journey today in my keynote, but I know there’s still a lot for us to take in from all of you.
Please keep the feedback coming. My colleagues and I hope to continue the dialogue at Open Source Summit North America. For those of you following from home, you can watch our keynote here at 4:25 p.m. PT, and be sure to follow us on Twitter.