Microsoft's former open source advocate Sam Ramji has said that Volish plans to move to cloud based systems mean that it will have to cuddle up to open source.
Ramjii, who quit Redmond two years ago, told Network World that that work is going on now to eliminate the legal liabilities of contributing to open source.
Once that's done, he claims Microsoft's love-hate relationship with free software will melt away as the giant is forced to use open source to build their own clouds.
This will lead them to eventually adopt it for other wares, contributing and sharing like good community members, Ramji claimed.
Microsoft has worked out that it can't compete with all the developers who are writing new technologies for the cloud.
Ramjii thinks that the cloud's wholesale adoption will lead to an open source love fest because the software business will no longer be "about shipping a software license, but about providing a service".
This makes Microsoft's reasons for fighting open source vanish. He thinks open source usage by the Vole will "be inevitable over the next couple of years" because open source is a faster, more productive method of software development, he says.
Ramji, who is on the board of the Outercurve Foundation, which is an open source advocacy group founded by Microsoft, said he sees the change happening at Microsoft. The proof, he told Network World, is in Azure.