Top Five Linux Kernel 3.0 Contributors are (you'll never guess)

2011-07-19 (updated 2011-07-27)

1. IBM
2. Novell
3. Intel
4. Red Hat
5. Microsoft (plugh!!!, isn't this Google's spot!?)

So how did we get here? Microsoft designed Hyper-V for running Linux based operating systems under Windows Server. But, they appropriated GPL code to do it. Not a problem as long as they only run the code inside Microsoft. But Hyper-V is a publicly used product They got caught and chose to release 20,000 lines of code as opensource software rather than risk being convicted of copyright infringement. Giving up code was damage done to MS (by their point of view), but they decided to make the best of things and promised to actually help out with the Linux kernel (for their own benefit). They wanted to make it easier and faster to run Linux on Windows. But the GPL cooperation process also makes it easier to run Windows on Linux, which they don't like. For a while it looked like they were going to back out. But in the last few days, there was an explosion of activity from Microsoft. Bumping them up from a barely contributor to 5th place contributer (measures in working hours), ahead of even Google.
They are ranked 5th for time contributed
They are also ranked 7th for number of changes (ahead of Novel)

It should be noted that there's lots of ways to rank contribution to the kernel to be sure. Microsoft ranks high in only two categories currently. And there's a lot of buzz about how Microsoft is contributing for completed selfish reasons. The fact is every company that contributes is being selfish. The vast majority of independent contributers are also expecting to get something back for their work. Linus Torvalds, founding creator of the Linux kernel, says his initial release of the kernal source code was selfish, He wanted a full operating system but didn't want to do all the work. He used GNU community. And they used him because they were in need of a kernel. Hopefully, Microsoft will see from this experience that GPL software benefits everyone, no has to lose.

Another news

So how is this related to videogames? Well, only one of the top 5 contributers developers and publishes videogames. Gamers should be watching.


IMO GPL "software" does not benefit everyone, the license is too restricting for that. Speaking more broadly of open source software in general might do that.

I agree, Open Source definitely benefits developers more than users. Especially considering Open Source is a definition of developers' rights and users are virtual ignored (or restricted) in the language.