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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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pete910 29 Jul, 2020
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Quoting: Vortex_AcheronticBut 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.
Solarwing 29 Jul, 2020
Damn!Microsoft is like an octopus whose tenctacles are slowly but surely infiltrating into our lives using linux as hobbyhorse.You can't trust 'em. For blender Team, money is always welcome. Hopefully they don't spend the increasing
amount of money in Las Vegas casino. Hardly. Nevertheless I hope good for Blender Team.It's interesting to see what are the results they achieve in the near future.And MS as backer, very dubious. But what this yields will reveal Whenether money from MS is good or bad.End result will tell that.
AwesamLinux 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: LinuxwarperWhat's their intentions with funding Blender?

My guess is that all publicly traded companies that are backing Blender, are ultimately just looking out for their own best interests. Sometimes this aligns well with what also the general-public wants, game devs/publishers like Ubisoft probably just want a good reliable alternative to expensive commercial software from for example Autodesk, a win-win for everyone involved.

But some companies are backing just to have some influence. For example Blender is often showcased in hardware benchmarks, and I think that is one of the main reasons Nvidia, AMD and Intel for example are onboard. Even though they are not making any demands, a major sponsor is still a reminder not to forget to optimize for some specific hardware/platform.


Last edited by AwesamLinux on 29 July 2020 at 7:42 pm UTC
mirv 29 Jul, 2020
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So the reasons for Microsoft investing are made clear, and as much as I distrust Microsoft from a business perspective, I'm simply not going to fault them over this.

Which means that they've done, and are still doing, enough shady shenanigans that they must be kept an eye on, but contributing for the purpose of benefiting yourself is quite frankly the way companies should be interacting with FOSS projects. So long as it's for a benefit, rather than trying to exclude or harm others, then this is what should be done. Valve do this quite a lot for example.

Now Microsoft of course have a history that colours everything they do when it comes to FOSS. So I get that, and definitely recommend keeping an eye on them, but at face value: investing in Blender is good thing that I can't fault Microsoft for, and I hope it produces better quality software for everybody.
elmapul 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: Vortex_Acherontic
Quoting: damarrinThat said, it’s much easier to configure GPU support in Windows than it is In Linux, so maybe we already have that.

Since when, did I missed something? o.O

I am used to install the Linux NV closed source driver via the package manager and you're done CUDA is right onboard. (Don't know for AMD since I never had an AMD GPU in my Linux boxes)

On Windows it's pretty much the same except of a missing package manager. So basically it's slightly more complicated on Windows because you need to manually download the driver and run the exe if we're super picky here.

But 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.

Not to mentioned forced updates and reboots which will probably happen since it's not uncommon to have multiple machines rendering for a couple of days if not weeks for a good quality animation.

QuoteMicrosoft has joined them as a 'Gold' level Corporate Member.

I really struggle with my point of view on Microsoft this year. In the past it was easy: Screw you Microsoft just decay already.

But these year I really have issues to stand that quote. Yes they do strange things like DX12 for WSL only and some other strange stuff but also they do actually good things here and there which makes it really hard to just plain hate on them. :/


blender have an inferior performance on windows than on linux.
microsoft donate to blender.

*magic happens*
blender do a lot of improvments on the performance, but those improvments only work on the windows version of blender.

its not an conspiration theory, its not malice, some platforms just happen to be better at a few things.
blender being faster on linux than on windows, has nothing to do with an platform being better than the other one, we can see this in the tons of games that run faster on windows than on linux (even some openGL and vulkan games do)

its not about what system is better, linux can be faster at 10 things while windows is at 1, if the program is designed to take advantage of this 1 thing, then windows will be faster at it.
and developers evaluate what is fast and what is not while they code their games and softwares.

for example: playstation games had better textures because there were more space to store textures, on the other hand, n64 games had more poligons because the cpu and gpu were better.
n64 had more open words with few textures, playstation was the opposite.
the load speed, etc all of those things that you take into account when you write an code.

honestly i didnt assumed malice when microsoft made WSL, but now i see the issue, wsl didnt improved the linux marketshare on baremetal, for most people, there is no reason to use linux on baremetal anymore, windows got feature parity, the only thing it didnt got was performance parity, maybe for some application that take a while to build it could make differnce, aside from those, windows will be an better platform for developers than linux is.

another thing that linux could do better than windows, was blender, then sundely microsoft donate to blender.
now blender can do 2 things with that money, improve general purpose features on both platforms (eg: add new features) or, make some optimizations for the windows version of blender, making microsoft happy and ensuring they will donate even more money.
they probably will do both, so we will end up with an better software at the end of the day, but at what cost.
elmapul 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: Patola
Quoting: pete910Like others have said, I still don't trust them as far as I could throw mount Everest.
None of us techies seem to trust Microsoft, but somehow this does not matter. Almost all companies seem to blindly trust this corporation which has one of the dirtiest track records ever. Every crappy Microsoft product no matter how disfunctional, every suspicious deal no matter how disadvantageous, they swallow up and get entangled in its terms like if it was one of the Great Wonders. It's close to incomprehensible and deeply frustrating in a professional setting.
because microsoft dont back slash then most of the times.
they make their partners happy most of the time, so if one company decide to fight back against their monopoly, they will be by then selves, as valve is.
epic is enjoying the time that valve waste money on linux, to steal away marketshare from steam, almost everyone is doing the same.

microsoft keep their partners happy then some times they decide to compete with one of then, and for those, its already too late, they are eaten by the monster they helped to breed.
its like an deal with the devil, where you dont have any choice due to their cheer marketshare, and at the same time, its very unlikely that you will be their next victim.

speaking of Epic, fortinite was the same.
it was made to compete against an game made on the unreal, epic had all the know how that one company can ask for, in unreal, they were an gigant company trying to compete against a bunch of newcomers who got the lucky of making an sucessfull game.
pubg is still alive, but god knows for how long, well, if they managed to survive until now, they probably will be fine, but that was just an good example of what i was describing.


Last edited by elmapul on 29 July 2020 at 8:59 pm UTC
elmapul 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: AwesamLinux
Quoting: LinuxwarperWhat's their intentions with funding Blender?

My guess is that all publicly traded companies that are backing Blender, are ultimately just looking out for their own best interests. Sometimes this aligns well with what also the general-public wants, game devs/publishers like Ubisoft probably just want a good reliable alternative to expensive commercial software from for example Autodesk, a win-win for everyone involved.

But some companies are backing just to have some influence. For example Blender is often showcased in hardware benchmarks, and I think that is one of the main reasons Nvidia, AMD and Intel for example are onboard. Even though they are not making any demands, a major sponsor is still a reminder not to forget to optimize for some specific hardware/platform.
optimizing for some specific hw/platform has an cost, and by donating, those companies ensure that cost will not be the excuse.
elmapul 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: mirvI can't fault Microsoft for, and I hope it produces better quality software for everybody.

oh, great, now i can quote an small part of the full text, this is a must have feature in any forum/comment section that most don't have!

suck it facebook!

jokes asside, most of the open source code is done by volunteers, but there is a limit on how long you can work for free when you're learning or as an side project aside from your main job.

there is nothing wrong in donating to make sure the project will have an good support for your system, the issue is when they demmand exclusivity features, that is literally paying for an company to not work.
example.
Zombie U was going to be an Xbox360 and PS3 game, but nintendo paid then to axe the Playstation and xbox versions and make it exclusively for then instead, that was literally paying then to work less, yes they saved then from the risks of not having an return of investment on the game, and they reduce their own risk of not selling consoles because they secured some sales by making everyone who wanted the game had to own their platform, but i cans see why people see this deals as harmfull for consumers.
at least when an exclusive manage to sell the console, they ensure that the consumers wont waste money on a platform with no games (since thirdy parties will come if enough people purchase the console for their exclusives, unlike what happens to linux as an gaming platform).

honestly i rather not see those exclusivity deals, but after 10 years of using linux without seeing its marketshare growing i have to admiti, this strategy works and it may be the only one who do work.
AwesamLinux 29 Jul, 2020
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: AwesamLinux
Quoting: LinuxwarperWhat's their intentions with funding Blender?

My guess is that all publicly traded companies that are backing Blender, are ultimately just looking out for their own best interests. Sometimes this aligns well with what also the general-public wants, game devs/publishers like Ubisoft probably just want a good reliable alternative to expensive commercial software from for example Autodesk, a win-win for everyone involved.

But some companies are backing just to have some influence. For example Blender is often showcased in hardware benchmarks, and I think that is one of the main reasons Nvidia, AMD and Intel for example are onboard. Even though they are not making any demands, a major sponsor is still a reminder not to forget to optimize for some specific hardware/platform.
optimizing for some specific hw/platform has an cost, and by donating, those companies ensure that cost will not be the excuse.

Yea, not saying that these companies backing Blender is a bad thing by any means, just that we should be realistic about the reasons/intentions they do it. It is great news regardless that Blender gets more funding
ElectricPrism 29 Jul, 2020
I was expecting more WHATABOUTISM using ego defense mechanism RATIONALIZING how Microsoft is GOOD or TRUSTWORTHY or I LIKE THEM, lol.

Good for Blender, and good on the community not being over CHARMED by these simple business deeds.
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