Let’s not get too excited about this.
Firstly, Microsoft does not <3 Linux to any degree. Microsoft wants to contain Linux. Sometimes literally. Microsoft is pushing the envelope that Linux is only useful for developers and system administrators. NOT for end users, and all the software they have released is to that effect. Please show me one piece of end user software, one office application or game they have released for Linux.
Furthermore, according to Microsoft, Linux should preferably be run contained in the Azure cloud or as a virtual machine. This is the agenda.
Microsoft does not want Linux on embedded devices, laptops, phone, tablets, SBCs or any other end user device. They don’t want it in schools, design studios, homes, or offices either. They tolerate it in server rooms because they have no choice.
Secondly, the main purpose of Linux is not to run MS Office or become a platform that mainly runs proprietary software. The Linux, or, more aptly, GNU/Linux, community’s agenda has been until recently to put individuals, end users, in control of technology and try and not have the opposite happen.
Linux is the poster boy of Free Software. Free Software is the name of the game, Linux is just its success story. If Linux stops being that, if Linux becomes buried under proprietary software, like Android, it is not useful anymore to the Free Software movement. It is not useful as an instrument to help society, it just becomes yet another tool in the hands of corporations.
Finally, why is everybody surprised about this? This has been in the making for months, maybe years. The Linux Foundation has no scruples with regards as who they make member. And maybe it shouldn’t: Their agenda is very explicitly purely business-based. They do not concern themselves with ethics or the general good of society. That falls into the realm of what the FSF and related organisations concern themselves with.
To become a member of the Linux Foundation you only have to pay a fee. It is not something bestowed on a company. The company does not have to accumulate any merits to become a member. I mean, even Oracle is in there.
I cannot imagine a lower bar.