Microsoft funds open-source Apache

Software giant donates £50,000 a year to open-source project

Microsoft has announced financial backing for the open-source Apache Software Foundation, joining Google and Yahoo.

The backing was announced in a keynote speech at the Open Source Convention in Oregan by Sam Ramji, a director of platform strategy at Microsoft.

Though Ramji did not confirm how much Microsoft will be contributing to the foundation which oversees development of open-source web server software, he did say it had become a platinum sponsor which requires a donation of at least £50,000 a year.

The company has also pledged to open up some of its communications protocols, but speaking on his blog Ramji says the move is in no way a move away from its own server products.

"It is not a move away from IIS as Microsoft's strategic web server technology. We have invested significantly in refactoring and adding new, state-of-the-art features to IIS, including support for PHP. We will continue to invest in IIS for the long term and are currently under way with development of IIS 8."

The move undoubtedly has roots in Apache's recent work to support Microsoft's Open XML formats, and the company's desire to see open-source software running on its operating systems.

Back in May Microsoft pledged to open up and make sweeping changes to the way it designs and shares information about its products, as it gave its first clear indication of the importance of open-source software.

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