Microsoft today announced that it is furthering its commitment to cross-platform development with an expanded open source program for its .NET platform and additional support for operating systems outside of Microsoft Windows.

"With billions of devices in the market today, developers need tools that target many different form factors and platforms," said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft. "Through Visual Studio and .NET we are committed to delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution for developers to build and manage applications across multiple devices and platforms."

After releasing several .NET libraries earlier this year to the open source community, Microsoft confirmed it would open source the full server .NET stack, making it available to developers via Github. The company also is expanding .NET to run on third-party platforms such as Linux and OS X and is working with the open source Mono project to ensure these cross-platform operations are ready for enterprise-level applications.

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As part of its Connect() event, Microsoft also unveiled its next generation Visual Studio 2015 developer suite with expanded cross-platform support. Additionally, the Redmond company announced the immediate release of Visual Studio Community 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 Update 4.

This open source initiative is part of a broader campaign to support platforms outside of Windows and Windows Phone. The company now offers Office on the iPhone and iPad and is continuing its support for Apple's OS X platform. An updated version of Office for Mac is rumored for release sometime in 2015.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
125 months ago
So to recap, Microsoft is going open source and free with some of their products, Google is moving towards closed source with parts of Android, and Apple is now selling phablets faster than they can make them. Also my iPad is now as fast as a MacBook Air. What kind of alternate reality tech world have I suddenly stumbled into?
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flash84x Avatar
125 months ago
This seems huge, Nadella is killing it.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
talmy Avatar
125 months ago
.Net was suppose to be a cross platform language

In Microsoft-speak, "cross platform" means it will run on different versions of Windows. I'm not joking.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrfoof82 Avatar
125 months ago
This seems huge, Nadella is killing it.

.NET is actually a joy to work with. Being able to write apps in C# for OS X has been a dream for a lot of developers. It's a very lovely language and supporting framework.

I don't mind Objective-C. I like Swift (a lot). Though being able to use C# on OS X and have first-party support and tools from Microsoft would make me a very happy camper.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thejadedmonkey Avatar
125 months ago
I wouldn't call this Microsoft going open source. This is them making it easier for themselves to release clients to other operating systems without having to create a completely native client. Also allowing people to leverage their technology in other software...the end game is that Microsoft is not counting on Windows anymore but are still very much a paid software company.

How much more "open source" than the MIT license can they possibly go?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LogicalVue Avatar
125 months ago
Not what you think

It seems like most of you should have first read the actual MS announcement.

This announcement says that their server-side .NET framework will be eventually able to run on Linux and OS X. Linux matters for servers, but OS X is not all that relevant. This announcement has nothing to do with desktop GUI apps. It's all about the server and enterprise. Relevant quote:

Delivering on its promise to support cross-platform development, Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. Through this implementation, Microsoft will work closely with the open source community, taking contributions for future improvements to .NET and will work through the .NET Foundation.

“A strong, open source, cross-platform CLR opens significant new options for building large server-based systems,” said Brian McCallister, chief technology officer, Groupon. “This significantly expands the choices developers have when finding the right tool to solve their problem. I’m very excited to have access to the quality virtual machine and tooling of the CLR without having to completely rework our production infrastructure in order to run it!”

There is also nothing in this announcement about allowing you to write .NET software using a Mac. MS does not have a Mac IDE and I don't expect them to create one either.

This is a good direction for Microsoft and .NET, but unless you are an enterprise software developer using .NET, this announcement will not affect you in any way.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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