Microsoft opens .NET source and makes it cross-platform
For more than 12 years, the .NET framework has been the primary programming model for developers who want to build Windows applications. But in an attempt to make many of their development tools cross-platform, today Microsoft announced plans to port .NET to Mac and Linux and open most of the .NET server kernel (not the client part), starting with the next version.
S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President of Development, notes the 6 million developers who create .NET applications today. “We were successful with this, but now the question is: how to develop .NET further? Microsoft already opened the source code for the .NET compiler (Roslyn) earlier this year, so we are not new to it (even with a lot of pundits who respond and make their assessment when they hear the words “Microsoft” and “open source software” in one sentence. ”
If you look at the recent history of Microsoft, today's announcement will not be a shock. At the Build conference earlier this year, for example, Microsoft announced the creation of the .NET Foundation and that this organization will accompany this project.
Unsurprisingly, the company plans to work with the Xamarin-sponsored Mono community, which is already creating cross-platform .NET based on C #. “We are announcing this and will take several months to work with the Mono community. We work closely with the Xamarin guys. ”Somasegar told me.
Efforts to make .NET cross-platform go hand in hand with this announcement, argues Somasegar. “I think of it as the next big step for .NET,” he told me. Does Microsoft want to provide .NET with more support for different platforms and what would be better than bringing it to new platforms?
Microsoft's cloud computing platform executive vice president Scott Guthrie echoed this view when I spoke to him a few days ago. He noted that developers often tell Microsoft why they like .NET, but many do not use it because its source code is closed and it only supports Windows. “After Wednesday, all reasons for not using it will disappear,” he told me.
Somasegar believes this will open up many opportunities for Microsoft partners. In today's statement, for example, Docker's head of business development, Nick Stinemates, notes: “Central to the Docker open platform is the ability to port the program to any infrastructure using Docker containers. Delivering the open .NET engine to all major operating systems means that Microsoft is expanding the concept of porting to the software platform itself. ”
Microsoft plans to create GitHub repositories with .NET code to begin discussions. We will see exactly what the final version will look like in the future, but Somasegar hopes that you will be able to launch the NET application in Linux Docker containers in Microsoft Azure soon.
To protect developers, Microsoft today announced a patent agreement that will insure the Mono project and all those who use it.
Whenever a company opens the source code of a certain project, users often worry - does this mean that the company abandons this project. Somasegar and Guthrie emphasize that this is not the case.
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