2018 was one of the biggest years for the Free and Open Source Software community. The community enjoyed plenty of highs and suffered its share of lows.

This is a list of the biggest FOSS milestones in 2018

1. IBM acquired Red Hat

IBM has purchased open source, cloud software business Red Hat for $34 billion in cash and debt. The deal sees IBM betting big on the cloud, specifically cloud services, that blend on-premises and cloud-based architectures. Red Hat will be a distinct unit within IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team, and it will continue to focus on open-source software. The acquisition is expected to close in the latter half of 2019.


2. SUSE acquired

Before IBM bought Red Hat, SUSE was acquired from Micro Focus by EQT. This purchase didn’t shake the foundation of the open source world nearly as much as Red Hat purchase, primarily because SUSE doesn’t have nearly the foothold in the market as Red Hat does.

First, it was acquired by Novell in 2004. Then, Attachmate, with some Microsoft funding, bought Novell and SUSE in 2010. This was followed in 2014, when Micro Focus purchased Attachmate and SUSE was spun off as an independent division. Eventually, EQT bought it from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion.

3. Microsoft purchases GitHub

Microsoft purchased GitHub for $7.5 billion. The acquisition of GitHub would not herald the end of the open source. In fact, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said of the deal, “Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness, and innovation”.

4. A New set of rules for Linux Kernel developers

A new set of rules were placed for the Linux kernel developers to achieve a new Code of Conduct that replaced the previous Code of Conflict. The Code looked to foster a positive environment by adhering to the following tenets:

• Using welcoming and inclusive language

• Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences

• Gracefully accepting constructive criticism

• Focusing on what is best for the community

• Showing empathy towards other community members


5. Microsoft opens patents

In a surprising move, Microsoft opened 60,000 patents to Open Invention Network. When this happened, the company who was open source enemy number one for years was no longer just using and contributing to open source software, but allowing others to make use of those now-open patents. That was huge news.

To put this into perspective, Microsoft has more than 90,000 patents and 60,000 of them are now open. The other 30,000 started making their way through the Patent and Trademark Office.

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