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.