Microsoft to open source .NET Micro Framework

Microsoft announced today at PDC09 here in Los Angeles that they will be opening the .NET Micro Framework source code and also release the next version, 4.0. The release will be available under the Apache 2.0 license, something that is already being used inside the community.

Developers will be able to gain access to the Base Class Libraries that were implemented into the .NET Micro Framework and CLR code.

Both the TCP/IP and Cryptography libraries are not included in the source. Colin Miller told the developers that the reason behind Microsoft not releasing the available source code was because they use a third-party from EBSNet and do not have distribution rights.

Microsoft is opening discussion of how to improve their .NET Micro Framework for developers through their community, including Microsoft developers and external partners to make improvements on their open source development.

Neowin is live from PDC 09 this week

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18 Comments

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They HAVE to start going open source in many aspects. Otherwise, their business will start falling slowly. If you see around you, most companies nowadays offer open source stuff and are all migrating to web apps. It's the next move in technology.

Lucas said,
They HAVE to start going open source in many aspects. Otherwise, their business will start falling slowly. If you see around you, most companies nowadays offer open source stuff and are all migrating to web apps. It's the next move in technology.

Yeah, many companies throw open-source freebies, but the core business knowledge is rarely open source. Try to find source files for Google search, Google AdSense, Apple OSX, Oracle DB, IBM AIX.

Sure, companies throw open source projects here and there to keep devs interested, but never what trully makes money for them. Open source is not really necessary for a plantform to be successful. Just a powerful set of API, good dev tools, and a profit-driven model that makes sure the platform never gets stale because the benevolent open source donors got bored. The best example - Windows.

MS has a ton of open source code (under a much better BSD licence, than the GPL).

It is the micro framework, a subset of the compact framework and it is a subset of the .net framework. Or you could say, it is the smallest subset of classes that are not open source, but Mono too is open source and support this complete set of classes (including cryptography and network).


Magallanes said,
It is the micro framework, a subset of the compact framework and it is a subset of the .net framework. Or you could say, it is the smallest subset of classes that are not open source, but Mono too is open source and support this complete set of classes (including cryptography and network).

.Net Framework IS open source. It's just not GPL/free software.

Just read Richard Stallman and stop confusing free software and open source (some shady PR people really want confusion here).

P.S. Micro Framework is NOT a subset of .Net Framework. The Base Class Library may be, but not the Common Language Runtime (which is the most important part).

RealFduch said,
.Net Framework IS open source. It's just not GPL/free software.
You are wrong.

.NET is an open spec, but the MS implementation is certainly not open source. Mono implementation is. And now MS Micro is open source. But the rest of the MS implementation certainly is not. I have VS installed, and see no source files for any of the .NET libs.

chadbr said,
No, you are wrong --

Configuring Visual Studio to Debug .NET Framework Source Code

http://blogs.msdn.com/sburke/archive/2008/...ource-code.aspx

(Notice it's been available for almost 2 years...)
Thanks for the tip! But I still think this does not qualify as open source. You can't access the whole source code for the framework and build it (how true open source projects are packaged), you can debug and step through the already existing implementation.

Interestingly, in the FAQ, he says they are working on having all source code downloadable at once.

What are the advantages in doing this?
Would it allow developers to trim the .net micro framework down more, or add their own code?

It's for people to gain more control and access to the Base Class Libraries, which were previously not opened to developers.

It allows for more control over development to have greater access into programs.