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Microsoft’s once-unthinkable evolution into a major open-source player continued Tuesday with its decision to join the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Corey Sanders, director of compute – Azure, Microsoft

Microsoft will improve the ties between Cloud Foundry, a popular open-source application-development platform, and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, building on work it has already done to make the two projects work well together. The company is joining at the Gold level, which provides less support than Platinum members to the foundation but still obligates Microsoft to donate time and money toward future development of Cloud Foundry.

“We remain committed to create a diverse and open technology ecosystem, to offer you the freedom to deploy the application solution you want on the cloud platform you prefer,” Corey Sanders, director of compute at Azure, wrote in a blog post set to go live as Sanders takes the stage with Abby Kearns of the Cloud Foundry Foundation at the Cloud Foundry Summit Tuesday afternoon.

Abby Kearns, executive director, Cloud Foundry Foundation

Cloud Foundry helps technology organizations move their workloads onto cloud computing by providing a platform that can run on multiple public cloud services and take advantage of modern app development technologies like containers and orchestration software. It can run on all three of the major cloud providers, but Amazon Web Services has yet to join the foundation that supports the open-source project.

“Having a deeper engagement with the public cloud providers is immensely important,” said Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, last seen delivering a talk at last week’s GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit. “I’m really excited to have Microsoft (join). They joined the Linux Foundation last year, and having them part of the Cloud Foundry says a lot about their commitment to open source.”

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