Microsoft has caved into developers and users who were angry that MS released an open-source project called GVFS even though that name was already associated with a long-standing Gnome project. Even after numerous developers and users explained this name confusion, Microsoft refused for over a year to rename the project.

That was until yesterday, when finally Microsoft agreed to hold a vote for a new name for their project. Coincidentally, this change of heart occured only two days after purchasing GitHub and the concerns about this acquisition.

The History

Gnome, an open source desktop environment for Linux and BSD operating systems, has had a virtual filesystem implementation since around 2006 that is called “GVfs“.   Since then, search results, forum and help topics, and tutorials have all been referring to this name with no confusion as to what it referred to.

Fast forward to November 2017 and Microsoft uploads a project called GVFS to GitHub, which stands for Git Virtual File System. This project is completely different and is used to allow extremely large git repositories, such as the Windows source code, to work well in Git source code version control system.

Once Microsoft release this project, they quickly overtook the original Gnome GVfs project in search rankings and started to cause confusion for some looking for information on the Gnome project.

Backlash from developers and users

When developers saw this, they opened a ticket on Microsoft’s GVFS project page to raise concerns that the Microsoft’s name was going to confuse people as it’s the same as the well established Gnome GVfs…