Open source darling Microsoft becomes Blender Development Fund member
Whenever I call Microsoft an open source champion or leader, the Linux fanboys come out in droves to tell me I am wrong. Unfortunately for them, I am extremely correct on the subject. Look, I get it, Microsoft was hostile towards both the open source and Linux communities years ago, but things change. The Windows-maker contributes to countless open source projects while also providing Linux programs, such as Procman. It is time for the open source and Linux communities to soften their stance on the company -- Microsoft is not your enemy!
Today, Microsoft proves once again that it is a friend of the open source community. You see, the storied company has become a Corporate Gold member of the Blender Development Fund. What does that mean? Essentially, Microsoft has handed over some of its money to help the development of popular open source program Blender -- free software for 3D creators.
"Microsoft makes use of Blender to generate synthetic 3D models and images of humans that can be used to train AI models. For researchers, having access to high quality free/opensource 3D software has proven to be of great benefit for scientific projects. To express their support, Microsoft is joining the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund as a Corporate Gold member per July 1st, 2020. We at Blender are very proud of this support statement, it’s another important signal that the industry migrates to open source and finds ways to contribute to it," explains Ton Roosendaal, Chairman of the Blender Foundation.
Roosendaal also says, "The Blender Development Fund accepts donations to support activities to provide free and open accessible services for all Blender contributors -- including professionals and corporations -- on the blender.org websites. Support activities include bug fixing, code reviews, technical documentation and onboarding. The fund will also provide grants and subsidies to developers on generic and widely agreed development projects."
If you are wondering how much money Microsoft is providing, it is actually considerable. As a Corporate Gold member of the Blender Development Fund, the company will be giving €30K every year, which is about $35,355.75 annually.
True, that isn't a ton of money given that Microsoft is worth many billions of dollars, but still, it should have a big impact on the development of the popular open source 3D creation suite. Not to mention, the company is not the only member of the fund. Believe it or not, Microsoft is donating more money than Google and Ubuntu -- both of which are only Corporate Silver members...