Every uear, The Linux Foundation compiles an analysis of who actually contributes the most to Linux’s code (PDF Link). In the last year, 2011, besides the usual suspects, which includes Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Samsung, Oracle and Google, you’ll also find some you didn’t expect to see such from such as Nokia and, drum-roll please, Microsoft.
Microsoft has significantly contributed before to Linux. In the past though its main contributions have been to its own Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor drivers. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s 64-bit hypervisor-based virtualization system. It’s Microsoft’s answer to VMware and Linux’s own native Kernel-based Virtualization Manager (KVM).
Microsoft wants both Linux to run Server 2008 R2 instances and for Windows 2008 R2 to run Linux instances using its own virtualization tools. Microsoft has been working on this for some time with Novell, now SUSE. The results, according to Microsoft sources, have been outstanding.