The Linux Foundation has long counted Google among those on the Silver level membership list, but it seems that the company is now moving up to the Platinum level. Google couldn’t exist without open-source software, which means that they’re investing in their own future in a way by doing so.
Google also will now receive a seat on the Foundation’s board of directors as a result of the move, which will likely always be filled by someone from Google’s FOSS offices. Sarah Novotny, the head of Google Cloud Platform’s open-source strategy board, is the current choice and she should hold the position for the foreseeable future.
Notovny is also currently the head of the Kubernetes community and formally worked as the head of developer relations at NGNIX. She was previously the program chair at O’Reilly’s OSCon meetings, which has made her really well-known in some circles.
Executive director Jim Zemlin said that the Foundation is honored to have Novotny on the board as she’s one of the leading figures in the open-source movement today. Novotny went on record, saying that open-source software is a major part of Google’s culture.
Vendors like Intel, Qualcomm, Oracle, Samsung and VMware were already Platinum members. Those who have been following FOSS news for some time may also remember that Microsoft joined the Platinum board a while back, which shocked certain commentators as it seemed to be a renewed FOSS commitment from Redmond that few saw coming.
Adding a bit of intrigue to some of these maneuvers is the fact that GitLab is slowly moving its services from Azure to the Google Cloud Platform. While this takes it away further away from Microsoft to some degree, GitLab said that the move was due to performance and reliability concerns.
Regardless of any outside maneuvers, it certainly appears that those currently on the Foundation’s board will continue to work hard to develop FOSS solutions and open standards that all vendors should be able to use equally. As their main goals are still to build sustainable software ecosystems that can accelerate commercial adoption, it’s interesting to see yet another major tech company join the top tier.
Google’s main operating system releases like Android and ChromeOS are also built on Linux technology.