TORONTO—Wim Coekaerts spent 21 years working at Oracle, much of it running Oracle’s Linux efforts. Five months ago, he left Oracle to join Microsoft, where he now serves as corporate vice president of enterprise open source. The reasons behind his move and how Microsoft is pivoting to become a participating member of the open-source world are the subjects of Coekaerts’ keynote at LinuxCon here today.
In a video interview with eWEEK, Coekaerts details what his job is all about and how open source is moving forward at Microsoft. Even before he joined Microsoft five months ago, the company was already well on the path of open-source adoption, both using open-source technologies and contributing to open-source projects, he said.
Coekaerts’ job is to help push enterprise open source forward, in terms of both continuing to improve Linux support on Microsoft’s Azure cloud as well as participating in the broader open-source community.
“Open source is no longer a stranger to Microsoft; it’s part of day-to-day life,” Coekaerts said. “I want people to know that this is a different Microsoft than you are used to.”
Microsoft tried different attempts at open source in the past that didn’t fit the regular model that everyone else in the open-source ecosystem was using. That’s no longer the case, and Coekaerts said that Microsoft is following all the typical and standard best practices for open-source use and contribution.
Part of being like everyone else in the open-source community is contributing to software projects that aren’t part of Microsoft. To that end, Coekaerts said that Microsoft is now contributing to multiple third-party projects that aren’t part of Microsoft.
“We don’t want to be different; we want to be exactly like everyone else in open source,” he said.
Watch the full video interview with Wim Coekaerts below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.