Microsoft goes open source – the hell has frozen over

For decades Microsoft had been a definition of constancy, but several months ago even that had to change. In the last two years, the Redmond company has introduced numerous of services and application helping them to adapt to an expanding IT world. Let me take you for a quick ride to acquaint you with the recent Microsoft development. Ladies and gentlemen, keep your seat belts fastened.

Since its founding in 1971 to late 2006, the Microsoft history had been considered as a golden era of the company. However, the stagnant prosperity could not last forever. In 2007, things began to turn into a wrong way. Microsoft releases Windows Vista (which is considered to be a botched release), and then Windows 7 to fix up the botch-up. While it still retains a significant share in the desktop operating system market, it does not anticipate the smartphone revolution. The MS also starts losing its share of the browser market to Firefox and Google Chrome (from ~70% in July 2008 to ~19% in mid 2015), Opera, and MSN starts losing share of the search engine market to Google. Apple, Microsoft’s old foe, would also launch the iPhone series that eventually cracked the Redmond firm dominance in the IT segment segment.
As the smartphone industry boomed beginning in 2007, Microsoft struggled to keep up with its rivals Apple and Google in providing a modern smartphone operating system. As a result, in 2010, Microsoft revamped their aging flagship mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, replacing it with the new Windows Phone OS. What is more, also in 2007, MS was imposed the highest fine in the history of the EU – $1.4 billion.

Web Browser

First signs of a Microsoft rebranding and refreshment were in try to buy Yahoo to strengthen the firm search engine market share. However, Yahoo declined the offer stating that it was highly undervalued.
Finally, they did manage to acquire Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 Billion – a first big successful merger. To compete in the portable devices market the Microsoft company decided to proceed an acquisition of Nokia for $7.2 billion. The deal was closed on 25th April 2014. Unfortunately, in the long run, it turned out that the transaction was not as successful as previously many would think. The steps taken by Steve Ballmer, the CEO at the time, were not enough. That is why he stepped down from his function in February of 2014. He was replaced by Satya Nadella.

A new Microsoft boss wasted no time, one of his first decision was to buy the video game development company Mojang for $2.5 billion, best known for its wildly popular flagship game Minecraft. A year later, the game became a world’s phenomenon. Additionally, after several months under his command, the Bing started to make a reasonable profit. It was a surprising news for the rest of the world.
Satya did not want to continue Ballmer’s reorganization and stopped the previous moves and credo. He described the new vision of Microsoft as:

“While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy”

“Productivity for us goes well beyond documents, spreadsheets and slides. We will reinvent productivity for people who are swimming in a growing sea of devices, apps, data and social networks. We will build the solutions that address the productivity needs of groups and entire organizations as well as individuals by putting them at the center of their computing experiences. We will shift the meaning of productivity beyond solely producing something to include empowering people with new insights.”


He quickly became to be recognized as a right man in a right place, a someone on a mission. The next decision was to make windows adaptable and universal for all programming languages and platforms. Nadella made that clear: While Windows and Office pack are still main foundations for Microsoft, directly peddling software is no longer the company’s game. And while equipment and services still play a large role in the Microsoft of the future, they’re just tools to be used to deliver productivity experiences, not the locus in and of itself.

Microsoft released several of free developers products to the customers, as well, as open source library.
Free Windows update (e.g. from 7 to 10)
Azure Cloud Computing
Visual Studio and Visual Code (several of new programming languages available such R)
openess for Linux and Mac OS (e.g. Microsoft Office compatible for these OS)
strong .NET assistence

Platform and tools supported by the Microsoft have significantly increased for the last 2 years. As we can see on the chart, MS provides soft and backup not only for Windows but also Android or Linux. Microsoft is providing the full .NET server in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux.


The new expansion has been started, the stock market reacted in a positive way in relations of recent projects and changes throughout the firm. The MSFT:US price per share hit over $55 this year to a sub $20 5 years earlier.


Even though Microsoft initially could not stay abreast with the IT mobile devices revolution, they managed to get on the right track -thanks to Satya Nadella’s focus on making the company competitive with Google, Apple and other raising Silicon Valley companies. We may think that the future is written in bright colors for Microsoft. However, what we see the most, is that the changes are inevitable and necessary at some time. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to make adjustments. If the Redmond Gigant could, so can you.

Tomasz Kurowski

post scriptum

Many thanks to Piotr Gankiewicz and Patryk Zaryjewski for help with the below article

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