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Twenty years ago Microsoft was demonized as the greatest enemy of Open Source software, but times have changed and with it Microsoft.
Today Microsoft is one of the largest contributors to Open Source development efforts at GitHub, to the degree that Microsoft eventually ended up buying the repository.
One area where Microsoft has however been reluctant to let Open Source into has been their crown jewel, Windows, but it appears this has already changed, going by a LinkedIn profile of a Security Program Manager II.
Security Program Manager II
Dates Employed Aug 2017 – Present
Microsoft OSG Information Security Team, Windows Core
Confidential Program requiring Machine Learning/Data Science knowledge and Program Management skillset to ensure the Security of Windows Core OS from malicious actors and code. Improved the security posture of Windows Open Source Components through initiatives that investigate vulnerabilities found and establish a process for remediation. Improved the overall Program Management skill set, communication, and collaboration throughout the WDG IS organization.
It seems unlikely Microsoft is talking about Windows SubSystem For Linux for their stripped down OS, but with Microsoft Edge set to adopt the Open Source Chromium rendering engine this is one component which will certainly also end up in WCOS.
A list of the other Windows related Open Source projects currently being worked on can be seen here and a good candidate is container technology, which is seen by many as the future of being able to run legacy Win32 apps securely in more modern versions of Windows.
Given the nature of Open Source, it seems unlikely Microsoft will be keeping a lid on their efforts for too long more, meaning we may soon have a lot more detail about their WCOS efforts.