Microsoft has recently embraced open source software projects more and more, which is something that would be unthinkable at the company just a few years ago. This week during BUILD 2014, the company announced a new effort, the .NET Foundation, that greatly expands the number of the company's programs to the open source software community.
The official announcement states that Microsoft wants to have the .NET Foundation "serve as a forum for commercial and community developers alike to strengthen the future of the .NET ecosystem by promoting openness, community participation and rapid innovation." As its first step towards that goal, Microsoft has released 24 .NET related programs to the open source community, under the Apache 2.0 license.
One of those programs is Microsoft's new .NET Compiler Platform that goes by the code name "Roslyn". It has a number of APIs designed to expose the Microsoft C# and Visual Basic .NET compilers via a "compiler as a service" design.
Microsoft Open Technologies will continue to develop and support all of the projects that are a part of the .NET Foundation. Third party company Xamarin will also contribute six of its own projects to the .NET Foundation.
Source: .NET Foundation | Image via Microsoft