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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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elmapul 30 Jul, 2020
Quoting: Patola
Quoting: elmapul
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.(...)
No, they don't. The teams which are forced to use their software endure very bad times and clear productivity loss. Their support is not good and most of the issues are design issues of their software, so they're never resolved. As I said, "no matter how disfunctional", and no matter how disadvantageous, it simple seems to not matter. It's like they arranged a way for bad design, bad support, bad functionality and loss of productivity to not have any measure or consequence for them. This is the mystery.

i'm not talking about their tools.
the fact is, if you develop for windows, then you only have to be afraid of the competition, its very unlikely that microsoft thenselves will try to compete against you or destroy you somehow.
your chances of surviving in the market developing for windows are much greater than not doing so.
that is why their partners are happy.

sure, the programmers may not like their tools, but that dont matter for their boss, as long as the company is making money, they are fine with it.

so TL:DR
developing for windows you have an high chance of making money and an small chance of facing microsoft as an competition.
not developing for windows you have an lower chance of making money, and if your product has any chance of stealing away marketshare from microsoft, then its very likely that they will try to destroy it.
chr 3 Aug, 2020
Quoting: CatKiller
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.

Thanks for the great insight.

I've also heard that one aspect of the PR boost is additionally legitimizing giant corporations and capitalism in general. Same what billionaires do (intentionally or not). By donating a very tiny fraction of your wealth obtained in an (according to some people) unethical system, you will calm some of the opposition to the unfair distribution of resources. "See, billionaires/giant_corporation take an interest in society and help others". Meanwhile they get to keep their pools filled with gold coins and 12 private jets.
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