Are commit numbers really of any interest to the big wide World?
According to the article, the study and everything that draws conclusions from it is based upon one single metric drawn from one single source: commits into Github.
To start, we all know Linux isn't hosted on Github, so nothing in the study allows you to draw any conclusions on that. Yes, lots of Linux work *is* done by employees of Red Hat and even the dreaded Microsoft, we all know this, but nothing in *this* survey is relevant to that discussion.
What is totally ignored is: how much of this material being committed is actually of any use to anyone? Do we actually *care* if Microsoft's name is attached to ten thousand repos if only one percent of those are ever actually compiled by anyone other than the author? Is it one percent? I have no idea and neither does this survey.
Companies like Microsoft, Amazon et al write some interesting code. They are also in the business of trumpeting to the world that they are good, concerned citizens and just look how much they give away for free. Github has some interesting code, it also has an enormous pile of half-finished homework (aka Microsoft experimental or "research" projects) and even junk pushed there just to be able to put a pile of URLs onto CVs.
Even if you are generous enough to assume that the numbers found on Github can be extrapolated to apply to every other set of repositories on the planet, you can not say one single word about how important any of it is without knowing how much of it is actually *used* by anyone. Back to Linux again, we can make a pretty good guess at how much of their commit history is relevant to the world: use any of the counts of how many Linux boxes are out there (and add however large a punch of salt you usually apply to *those* surveys).
The primary result of this survey is - to create a quick survey that pulls down one set of numbers, sorts it by three columns and counts the duplicates, makes no attempt to do any interesting analysis that would take any effort to design and implement (was this just an exercise by someone just starting to learn Google Big Query?).
As for the main thrust of the piece: OSS as your day job is old hat - the names associated with the origins of open source are Universities, research labs like Lawrence Livermore or CERN, and groups like DECUS, most of which was work they were being paid to do. The troglodyte coder idea comes from the media in the first place, exaggerating the worst stories from the days of the Hacker's Dictionary, with no little help from people like Microsoft in their Halloween email days.