Donald Fischer Tidelift

The data behind Microsoft's surprising open source track record

Our friends at Tidelift have joined data from GitHub and their own, "the largest open source software dataset in the world," — which covers over 2.8 million open source projects. They were able to combine the two datasets to gather the entire commit history of each project on GitHub to more closely examine the following questions:

  1. What exactly has been Microsoft’s role in the open source community?
  2. In which projects and ecosystems have they contributed most?
  3. Have those contributions been focused on the large Microsoft open source initiatives, or has the company also participated in projects beyond their immediate purview?

They were also careful to clean the dataset of forks and duplicate packages which would misinform this analysis.

So what’s the verdict? Microsoft may have a mixed history with open source, but today the company is demonstrating some impressive traction when it comes to open source community contributions. If we are to judge the company on its recent actions, the data shows what Satya Nadella said in his announcement about Microsoft being “all in on open source” is more than just words.

The data behind Microsoft's surprising open source track record
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