How Microsoft is using Open Source Software?

This blog post is the fourth in a series of six blog posts highlighting various aspects of Microsoft’s open source strategy.

The previous two posts explained Microsoft’s Open Approach that empowers customer choice and value by providinSTB13_Joseph_01g a wide range of choices in a cross platform and interoperable way with open standards, resulting in the most trusted cloud.

As dogfooding by using one’s own products is one core principle when Microsoft develops products, so is the use of open source in our products and services critical for testing out the interoperability and openness of our platforms.

On our Microsoft Azure cloud platform, we have few services that are based on open source code. The caching service offered for developers as a service is based on the open source Redis Cache. With Redis developers are able to gain higher website, service or database throughput from their solutions running on Linux or Windows.

Another example of open source in action within Azure is HDInsight service, which offers managed Apache Hadoop clusters as a service. With HDInsight, customers like City of Barcelona are able to run their analytics workloads without the need to manage or maintain their own hardware. HDInsight supports both Windows and Linux cluster nodes.

Also the Azure Machine Learning for data scientist is using the open source R and Python languages. Thyssen Krupp realized that Azure as open platform is great for building Internet of Things solutions consisting of mixed technologies to make elevator maintenance smarter.

Microsoft also includes Open Source components in licenced software products. For example Windows 10 refers MIT, BSD, LGPL licensed components. Complete list of components and their licence text is available at

As you can see, Microsoft also actively using open source and thus has interest in keeping the open source ecosystem vibrant.


About the writer: Pasi Mäkinen, Open Source Lead, Microsoft Western Europe, is working with customers and partners to drive open source based workloads on Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Contact at or follow at Twitter @pasimak. Check the rest of the Openness story at: Find fresh and upcoming webinars on Open Source and Azure here:


To read the other blog posts in this series, please click the links:

Microsoft has open approach to cloud

Providing Trusted Open Cloud

Support for Open Source technologies on Azure