The only reason Microsoft changed their language on that was because they recently learned people didn't care about them for many server-side activities including web hosting and what to run in VMs (two areas where GNU/Linux is popular). Microsoft wants to frame things in terms of popularity because it can't compete on software freedom. When Microsoft failed to show high popularity in those markets they figured they'd rather have organizations include them somewhere in the system than totally exclude them. Thus, from Microsoft's perspective, better to run their VM controller running a bunch of GNU/Linux systems than not be included at all. So out with the "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches" language (and Steve Ballmer who said that) and in with the "Microsoft loves Linux" swag. They changed their PR in the hopes people would buy this. But they can change the PR again, and none of this PR is designed to address what they're actually distributing to their users: proprietary, user-subjugating software. This is why articles like this are framed in terms of gauging in terms of popularity instead of software freedom, and "open source" instead of free software.
Much as I want to take Eben Moglen's recent LibrePlanet 2017 speech advice to heart and "destroy no coalitions at the moment" (not that I think what I say has such power to begin with), I can't help but notice that this pairing of how to evaluate the shifting language with the group that has always eschewed software freedom and conclude that this is no accident. "Fifteen years ago [...] open source was a communist virus" is right, but it can be that again so be careful not to value your software freedom in terms of popularity. The freedom will remain, continue to be hugely practical and ethical, and a value unto itself whether software proprietors consider it a proper part of what to run or not.