Microsoft’s new, more open stance isn’t just about being a good technology citizen, the move is necessary for the company’s survival. Open source tools have dramatically increased in popularity with developers, especially in the web space, and in the enterprise.
Microsoft realized it could attract a wider audience for its tools and services if it abandoned its isolationist policies. Developers were no longer willing to choose Microsoft’s platform at the expense of abandoning all others. If a platform is unattractive to developers, eventually it will impact the demand for Microsoft’s products at the organizations that employ those developers — something Microsoft could not afford.