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It feels like FOSS is on a roll lately, with more and more great open source applications seeing funding from big names. Blender is back in the spotlight again, with backing from Microsoft.

Announced by the Blender team today, July 29 2020, Microsoft has joined them as a 'Gold' level Corporate Member. This means Microsoft will be giving the Blender Foundation at least €30K a year, which the Blender team say pays for half a year of developer time to improve Blender. The statement from the Blender Foundation Chairman was short and sweet:

We at Blender are very proud of this support statement, it’s another important signal that the industry migrates to open source and finds ways to contribute to it.

This follows a string of other major companies throwing their backing behind Blender. Over the last year we've seen Embark Studios, AMD, Adidas, NVIDIA, Ubisoft and Epic Games all pledge monies towards it. There's plenty more that already contribute like Google, Ubuntu developer Canonical, Valve and more.

Looking over their funding page, they're currently getting about €94,175 a month across 41 corporate sponsors and 4,601 individuals. Sounds nice on the surface but that's not much when split between a few developers. Hopefully this level of funding keeps up and they manage to pull in more as Blender is such a fantastic bit of open source software.

Also, it's worth noting that the Blender team have some open job positions right now including a back-end developer, a writer to blog about what they're doing and a community coordinator.

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damarrin Jul 29, 2020
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Windows exclusive features in Blender in 3... 2... 1...

That said, it’s much easier to configure GPU support in Windows than it is In Linux, so maybe we already have that.

Last edited by damarrin on 29 July 2020 at 2:25 pm UTC
Tchey Jul 29, 2020
I’m always very cautious with these "good news", but thanks for the info.
Linuxwarper Jul 29, 2020
What's their intentions with funding Blender?
g000h Jul 29, 2020
The thing is, all the big development companies should contribute towards projects like this so that they themselves don't get put over a barrel by the companies who control the creativity software market, e.g. Adobe, Autodesk.
_Map_ Jul 29, 2020
Quoting: damarrinWindows exclusive features in Blender in 3... 2... 1...
A Windows exclusive feature is almost impossible due to the GPL licence, except for an integration of a windows only external tool, which is fine as it's not really a problem on blender side.
And €30K a year is nothing, they would need to pay at least €200k a year to justify the time and money invested to add any interesting features so I don't think Microsoft has any evil secret agenda here, they're just doing like everyone else and helping a bit the blender institute.
gradyvuckovic Jul 29, 2020
Oh that is damn cool. Awesome! And that puts Blender sooo close to reaching it's "20 full time developers" target too!

Blender is unstoppable!
Mohandevir Jul 29, 2020
Personnally, I would like to see something similar happen to the likes of FreeCAD or any other CAD software...
CatKiller Jul 29, 2020
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Quoting: LinuxwarperWhat's their intentions with funding Blender?

Primarily it's marketing: they get a good PR boost for peanuts - much less than the cost of an advertising campaign.

However, there's also the concept of "commoditise your complements." That means that all of the things that people use with your product, that you can't control directly, should have lots of competitors that people can also use with your product. If you sell cars you want there to be lots of petrol companies whose petrol your customers can use: you wouldn't want to be dependent on a single massive petrol company who might eventually produce their own car to be used with their petrol.

It doesn't have to be nefarious, it's just a standard business decision. You can see the same thing with Valve's Linux support: they don't want to be dependent on Microsoft, so they're investing in ways to make the OS a commodity that their customers can swap out as they see fit.
Derheim Jul 29, 2020
Never trust M$, no matter what they do, never trust them.
pete910 Jul 29, 2020
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Quoting: GuestBut I wouldn't use Blender on Windows anyway since the render time is a nightmare. You're loose approximate 25% CPU and 6% GPU performance on Windows due to Windows being Windows. Since time is money and time is a vital part of 3D rendering it's just a waste of money and time if you render larger projects.

This may be why they are sponsoring it!
Like others have said, I still don't trust them as far as I could throw mount Everest.

However, good news for the Blender team.
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