Microsoft might consider offering the core of .NET to open source community

Microsoft made a huge move to embrace the open source software community by offering 24 of its .NET projects to developers this week at BUILD 2014. Internal discussions at Microsoft about offering .NET software as open source projects started three years ago, according to a new ZDNet article.

The story includes quotes from Soma Somasegar, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division, who stated that there was a lot of debate at the company about releasing the .NET code just for viewing or if it would allow contributions from the open source community. In the end, Microsoft established the .NET Foundation to offer the projects under the Apache 2.0 license.

Somasegar also said that mobile app tool maker Xamarin was a big influence and advisor to the company on their .NET open source efforts, However, he stopped short of confirming recent rumors that Microsoft could acquire Xamarin outright in the near future.

And what about offering the core of .NET, such as the  the Base Class Libraries (BCL) and Common Language Runtime (CLR), to the open source community? Somasegar said Microsoft would consider it but added that it would happen only "if it's truly beneficial for us and for the community." 

Some people might think that Microsoft's decision to release many of its .NET projects as open source means that the company might be abandoning development of the software. However, ZDNet's story quotes Microsoft's Anders Hejlsberg, the lead developer of the new Roslyn compiler, as saying just the opposite, stating, "We are actively investing in .NET going forward."

Source: ZDNet | Image via Microsoft

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