A study by Aiven on GitHub, the repository hosting service, reveals that the total number of active contributors from Amazon, Microsoft and Google on GitHub has increased by 300% in six years, from 2,654 contributors in May 2016 10,549 in May 2022.
The research is based on data from the Open Source Contributor Index and shows that Google is stepping up its efforts, with active GitHub contributors (4,643) surpassing Microsoft contributions (4,394) for the first time since records began in 2016.
More than a third of Microsoft’s OSS contributions are in programming languages that are maintained by Microsoft. 38.8% of the languages it uses are either PowerShell or C# — both originally developed by Microsoft. Google, meanwhile, prefers C++ and Java, and Amazon contributes Python and Java.
Heikki Nousiainen, CTO and co-founder of Aiven, says:
” Our research shows that hyperscalers devote more resources to open source. That’s excellent news. As a community, open source software needs that kind of commitment from big tech companies to ensure important projects are maintained and vulnerabilities like Log4Shell don’t reoccur. More so, it’s a better way to write clean, transparent, and secure code.
An unexpected result of our research was to see Google overtake Microsoft in terms of the number of its employees contributing to open source software. Google has been a champion of open source since its inception and recently announced its Assured Open Source Software service, reaffirming its commitment.
The fact that Google overtakes Microsoft is particularly surprising, since one of the factors in this overshoot has been the year-over-year decline in Microsoft’s commitment to open source projects. However, Microsoft’s commitment to developer freedom and innovation is ongoing, with the company being a major player in open source, and even having purchased GitHub in 2018. market is increasingly looking to capitalize on open source software. “
However, Aiven’s research on commits — submissions of new software patches to open source projects — reveals that the number of commits on Microsoft’s and Google’s GitHub are still behind the highs reached in the summer of 2020, although the difference between the two has narrowed.
Although Amazon still lags behind its hyperscale competitors, it now supports large open source projects such as OpenSearch, a fork of ElasticSearch, and it also hosts a growing number of projects on its GitHub page.
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