Microsoft had a keynote speech at the french trade fair Solutions Linux, where the abstract of the speech explains why the company was able to embrace and extend the Linux cancer (Ballmer in 2001: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches. That's the way that the license works"):
MICROSOFT : Linux and Windows Interoperability at Microsoft. English session
For the past six years, Microsoft has evolved it’s thinking about open source software. Like many companies, Microsoft has gone from learning about open source software to experimenting with it to participating in the development, integration and support of it. Who would have thought six years ago that Microsoft would have two open source licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative? Who would have thought six years ago that Microsoft would support Linux through a certificate program with Novell? Who would have thought six years ago that Microsoft would have an Open Source Software Lab and share an interoperability lab with Novell? Was it even conceivable six years ago to think that a Microsoft engineer might contribute to an Open Source project, as a Microsoft employee? Yet all of these events and others have transpired. This key note address reviews the evolution of Microsoft’s position toward open source software and highlights some of the open source and interoperability activities in which Microsoft has contributed and continues to participate.
Speaker : Tom HANRAHAN, Director, LINUX INTEROPERABILITY
I let you guess why Microsoft likes Linux and Open Source now: software patents solves the OSS problem and makes them confident that they have a legal certainty that they can suck royalties out of Linux sales, and control competitors when they want to operate with their dominant products.