Microsoft is set to join the private linux-distros mailing list following a request to do so last week. The mailing list is unique in that unreported security issues are discussed in a private space, this gives vendors advanced notice to provide patches for their products before an issue is made public. There has been some opposition to Microsoft joining, but not enough for the move not to go ahead.
In the mailing list thread, members discussed when exactly Microsoft should join the list and what it should be referred to as they wanted a more narrow identity than just ‘Microsoft’. It looks as though the company will be listed under the name Microsoft Linux Systems Group, as this is the name of the responsible team at Microsoft. It’s unclear when the firm will be added but it should be done anytime between now and August 8th. The mailing list has a rule where applicants must have been submitting fixes for at least a year and allowing Microsoft in before August 8th would be setting a precedent.
As it stands right now, there are representatives from ALT Linux, Amazon Linux AMI, Arch Linux, Chrome OS, CloudLinux, CoreOS, Debian, Gentoo, Openwall, Oracle, Red Hat, Slackware, SUSE, Ubuntu, and Wind River on the list. According to the list’s information page, issues disclosed here are subject to a maximum embargo period of 14 days but seven days are preferable.
Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft has progressively been getting closer to Linux to the point now where you can run Linux software natively on Windows. While it’s great to see Microsoft using and contributing back to open source software, some people have long memories and remember the days when Microsoft dubbed Linux and open source software “a cancer, un-American, and bankrupt”.