Feeds

Microsoft makes Top 20 list of Linux kernel contributors

Linux Foundation reports most key developers are paid

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

The Linux Foundation has released its annual report on the state of the software, and reports that Microsoft has made it into the Top 20 of companies that sponsor development of the Linux kernel – quite a change for the operating system Steve Ballmer used to dismiss as a cancer.

For contributions made to the kernel since version 2.6.36, Microsoft ranks 17th, with Redmond's contribution estimated at 1 per cent of the whole. The top contributing companies were Red Hat, Intel, and Novell. Samsung and Texas Instruments were also named as fast-growing contributors, reflecting an increase in interest in Linux for mobile and embedded systems.

"Linux is the platform for the future of computing. More developers and companies are contributing to the advancement of the operating system than ever before, especially in the areas of mobile, embedded and cloud computing," said Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer services for The Linux Foundation, in an emailed statement. "The increasing participation represents the power of Linux to quickly adapt to new market opportunities, lower costs, and provide sustained long-term support."

The report found that, contrary to arguments often made by commercial software houses (including Microsoft), the vast majority of Linux kernel development work is carried out by people paid by their employers to work on it. In all, the Linux Foundation estimates that 75 per cent of development work is done by salaried staff, even if they assume unknown volunteers are working on their own time.

Overall, the number of developers working on Linux has never been higher. Version 3.2 took code contributions from 1,316 developers, compared to 389 on version 2.6.11, and over 226 companies contributed to the latest release. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.