Microsoft Takes a Big Step Into Open Source and Cross Platform

Microsoft Takes a Big Step Into Open Source and Cross Platform

Microsoft are currently holding the Connect() developer event in New York and have announced several changes to the way .Net development and Visual Studio are going to work, I’ve picked some of the highlights below:

First off they are open sourcing the .Net core runtime and libraries under the MIT open source license. This means they are allowing the community to help improve .Net. Previously if a developer found a bug in .Net they had no option but raise a bug with Microsoft and try to find a work around. Now we’ll all be able to provide bug fixes and feature improvements to .Net. Even just being able to dive in and look at this code is huge for us developers dealing with .Net day in day out. It’s available on GitHub here:

They are also making the .Net core framework available cross platform. For us .Net developers this is pretty big. It means no longer will we be restricted to deploying our applications to Windows servers. If it makes sense we can choose to host in Linux – which Azure would fully support. As developers we can now reach more customers with no extra work, that was the original aim of .Net but Linux and OSX support fell by the wayside. This is being corrected and highlights Microsoft shift of strategy to reach as many customers as possible rather than forcing everyone to use their entire ecosystem.

Finally they are also announcing a new version of Visual Studio: Visual Studio Community edition. Bridgeall have all the licenses for VS that we need but this new Community edition will open up the possibility of .Net development for more developers – which for Bridgeall would ideally mean more graduates with experience of .Net.

The new version provides the features of VS Professional for free for the following devs:

  • Any individual developer working on a commercial or non-commercial project
  • Any developer contributing to an open source project
  • Anyone in an academic research or course setting (e.g. students, teachers, classroom, online course)
  • Any non-enterprise organization with 5 or fewer developers working on a commercial/non-commercial project together

The announcements were made on Scott Guthrie’s blog:

…and Somasegar’s Blog has more of the technical detail: