"Knative continues to be an open-source project"
In that case there's nothing to stop it being forked. In the past that's been a response to governance issues.
The Knative framework, which enables serverless applications to be deployed and auto-scaled on Kubernetes, will not be donated to any foundation such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. In a strategic announcement from the top of Google, product manager and Knative Steering Committee member Donna Malayeri stated: Since …
Typical of billion-dollar behemoths, Google has a good thing going with Kubernetes and its stance is to make all the money, so get people hooked on the product and reserve the means to develop on it to only paying customers, thereby adding yet another revenue stream to fill its coffers.
It's an excellent decision - for Google.
To be fair, Google actually cooked this pie, so they are not taking it but rather keeping> it. The question is why wouldn't anybody just fork the project and do whatever they want? I'm assuming this Knative is a very niche thing, and few people outside of Google have any interest in developing it, unlike Kubernetes which has many people interested and that Google does not control anymore.
"As always, our goal is to ensure that Knative serves the needs of
our users, the community, and everyone who benefits from using Knative Google."
I get the feeling that Google have resigned themselves to being also-rans in the actual provision of cloud services (5% market share growth in the last three years, compared to 14% for Microsoft and 12% AWS - source), and instead are trying position themselves to take control of how people use those services - much as they did with desktop PCs and browsers/web searching.
It's pretty obvious that Kuebenetes is going to be the defacto standard across multi cloud environments and how they reach into n perm equipment. Google want to use that to try and gain ground on the other 2 hyperscalers. Looks like keeping this close to home is all part of that strategy