Samsung this week became the latest company to join the Linux Foundation — a nonprofit consortium of technology firms devoted to developing and promoting Linux standards. The Korean manufacturer enters the organization at the highest level of support, and, as a platinum member, joins Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, and Qualcomm on the Foundation's Board of Directors. According to the New York Times, Samsung contributed $500,000 to the consortium.
Considering the company's involvement with Android and other Linux-based open source software, Samsung's membership doesn't come as a major surprise, but it does suggest that the manufacturer will be assuming a more prominent role in determining the future of Linux. According to the Foundation, Samsung will work with other members to enhance engagement with the "kernel community," and to develop open source best practices.
In a statement, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin lauded Samsung's "commitment to Linux and investment in its development," adding that the company's membership is "a strategic business decision that will result in advancing Samsung Electronics' success and accelerating Linux development work."
In an interview with the Times, Zemlin went on to say that Samsung's membership would also help it compete against rivals like Apple. "Apple, perceived as the most closed and proprietary software company in the world, is incredibly good at open source. It’s in everything they make," Zemlin explained. "Samsung is doing the same thing with Linux in order to make better, faster, cheaper software. They’re investing in it in a massive, massive way, as only companies like Samsung can do."