Nope. Hell hasn’t frozen over, nor has winter arrived yet. But Microsoft has emerged as the ‘leading’ sponsor of the OpenBSD Foundation, becoming the first ‘Gold’ contributor for 2015.
OpenBSD Journal wrote: “The OpenBSD Foundation is happy to announce that Microsoft has made a significant financial donation to the Foundation. This donation is in recognition of the role of the Foundation in supporting the OpenSSH project. This donation makes Microsoft the first Gold level contributor in the OpenBSD Foundation’s 2015 fundraising campaign.”
Before you get too excited, let’s get one thing straight: It’s not a million dollar sponsorship. Anyone who contributes between $25,000 and $50,000 becomes a Gold Contributor of the foundation. This amount doesn’t even qualify as pocket change for Microsoft. But it’s not about money; it’s about the gesture and changes that we are witnessing in a Microsoft let by someone other than its co-founders.
Microsoft’s ‘investment’ in the OpenBSD Foundation may appear to be surprising; it’s not. The company, after paying attention to customer feedback and change of leadership, is adding support for openSSH to their Windows PowerShell.
Angel Calvo, Microsoft’s PowerShell Team Group Software Engineering Manager, earlier said in a blog post that they won’t be just adopting the openSSH, they will also be contributing to it.
That connects the two dots because OpenSSH is an OpenBSD Foundation project and by contributing to OpenBSD’s 2015 fundraising campaign Microsoft is directly helping OpenSSH.
The Gold is the third tier of funding at OpenBSD Foundation — the first being Iridium at a contribution level of $100,000 to $250,000 and second is Platinum ($50,000 to $100,000). Both Google and Facebook are Silver contributors, which falls in the $10,000 – $25,000 bracket.
Microsoft’s contribution to OpenBSD comes at an interesting time because Microsoft recently announced it is planning to cut up to 7,800 jobs and the reports are rife that their own Windows Phone platform is dead.