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Microsoft open sources .NET framework to work on both Linux and Mac

Microsoft appears to be a new company since Satya Nadella came into power. Yesterday, the tech giant had another announcement to make - its .NET framework is going open source (opens in new tab). Microsoft will allow the free code to run not only on Windows-based computers, but also systems powered by Linux or Mac OS. The company has been making some radical changes, and those interested will soon have access to .NET code that will run on multiple platforms.

Microsoft executive VP of developer tools S. "Soma" Somasegar explained the move by wanting to "have a developer offering that is relevant and attractive and valuable to any developer working on any kind of application." It's quite a change that will see Microsoft adapt to competition and how other platforms have matured alongside the Windows ecosystem.

Somasegar notes that Microsoft engineers have been debating this move (to make .NET available on multiple platforms) for many years, but acknowledges that Nadella has made it possible since taking the CEO seat. "He is very good at driving forward, moving forward. Status quo, standing still, is not an option when you're under that guy. What he has helped us all do is continue with what we have been all been thinking about for a while now—and sort of kicking it into a higher gear."

It's worth noting that the code to run .NET on Linux and Mac OS has not yet been released. Somasegar states it will be a few months before the company announces a release. In the meantime, check out the .NET GitHub and download the Visual studio 2015 Preview (opens in new tab).

What do you make of the move to go open source with .NET?

Source: MSDN (opens in new tab), via: Wired

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

57 Comments
  • Why?
  • Why not.  Many places use linux. While Java is good. I prefer to write in c#.  This is huge for people like me that specialize in .net
  • ^This^
  • He is correct..,and every linux geek blame microsoft as it had nothing open sourced.. Now they will shut the mouths
  • we all know nothing will shut up people who didn't have an argument to begin with :) but yeah, one less thing they will bring up about .net vs java.
  • The linux turds will find something to argue about :)
  • Open source is always good for making technology better. more and more people contribute towards it. Java has been dominating all the platforms ... now it will give an opportunity for .net to grow.    Good stuff from new CEO :) 
  • Open source is good for the individuals but for enterprise it's rubbish. Too many issues/concerns around it but as long as it's backed by a company like Microsoft then I don't see this move being a problem.
  • Java is absolute trash...
  • This is a good thing.  Microsoft is building an ecosystem.  Software sits on top of it all.  If they license OS, development, and .NET out as public - they can achieve greater penetration in markets that might not have been accessible before.  Their software and partners software sits on top of that (perhaps along with hardware?).  Additionally, open sourcing even code like potentially Windows will mean community review of code which helps make it stronger.  It is one of the great strengths that people enjoy with Linux and other open source product communities.  This could be damaging or it could be a boon - it certainly ups the ante on competing platforms.  I'm keen to see where this leads. 
  • Then how do you make money?
  • Microsoft is covering their ass. If Windows Phone and Windows 10 fail they need a plan B to continue to be relevant, which is also a reason why they are making sure everything they have is available on iDevices and Android.
  • Exactly. It's annoying, but it's *smart*, and it's part of a long term plan.
  • What plan, I would really like to hear this plan?
  • Here you go http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/11/10/productivity-engine/
  • I'd say it's simpler than that. Devices running Windows are a fraction of the total computing devices available today. It's almost impossible for any one OS to completely dominate those devices in the same way Windows did in the 90s. It simply makes sense for Microsoft to be everywhere.
  • Windows phone and windows 10 won't fail. They just making sure their services come in use more, and world needs to know/see how much they can do with .net framework.
  • this has little to do with windows phone and windows 10. this is all about enterprise and competing with oracle's java. you're totally off base.
  • Windows 10 won't fail. Looking at this new build they released, they even took my advice of which I was the only one who mentioned it. They finally get it at Microsoft and are starting to make us think positive about them. No plan B, no fails. Simple as that
  • MS really wants to get developers coding using .NET
  • and they really want EXISTING devs to continue doing so. because it is increasingly hard to justify .net if the code only runs on windows server backends. I'm also hoping we'll see lower prices on windows IaaS providers now that they can no longer rape you for being windows dependent.
  • I've managed development teams in both .Net and Java (and have been developing using the Microsoft stack in VB 1.0 in Dec of 1991), and I can say unequivocally that the .Net teams are far more productive.
  • Because Java is kicking its ass on phones, tablets, and the cloud.
  • And in unreliability...
  • The seeds for this were planted long before Satya Nadella become CEO.  It's now his to implement, but this is not happening because he became CEO.  MS has been dabbling in OSS for a while.  I think that Xamarin/Mono and F# showed MS that OSS .NET can and does work.
  • correct, but has nothing to do with OSS. This is not about open or not, this is about competing with Java in the server space which for far too long has had to itself. In fact, this kind of tells me that what xamarin was doing was NOT working because it was too incomplete and buggy and was lagging so far behind that it was holding them back. Xamarin itself admitted this helps them because let's face it, we all know open source or not, there was no way they were going to catch up with MS's own team.
  • Yup. Nutella is a nut job!
  • Maybe it started before Satya Nadella, but he is the first CEO with the guts to actually push forward. With Ballmer this stuff wouldn't happen for at least another 5 years and you know it
  • As a developer, this is amazing news. Not only will this make writing cross-platform apps immensely easier, I can foresee .NET taking over Java to become the de facto "write-once run-everywhere" framework and languages.
  • Exactly! This is awesome news for us .net devs.
  • They need to make VS for linux/Mac
  • Dunno if that's a good idea. There's no dearth of good IDEs on either platforms. Visual Studio, if retained as a Windows exclusive, can steer devs towards using Windows as their primary coding machine. You know, the whole integrated stuff.
  • I think it's a great news! I really hope this brings change. I believe it will.
  • Satya Nadella is the Margaret Thatcher of Microsoft.
  • Margaret Thatcher was a far right fascist  evil bitch that supported Apartheid South  Africa.
  • Great news indeed!
  • This is good news. Ultimately i'll help Microsoft as more people will be willing to adopt .Net and their tools like Visual Studio if it can be adapted for anything that people are working to put the time into. It'll make it easier to write once and easily port to other platforms. There is an open-source equivilent called mono, but having the actual .Net source available will make the compatability and features more complete.
  • But how exactly does this help Microsoft? From what I understand, the Visual Studio tools will be free. Microsoft doesn't make any money on apps sold through google play or the app store. So, how does apps being coded for other platforms using Microsoft tools help them. The only thing that i can think of is that this might help developers release apps on WP, RT, android and IOS at the same time and close the app gap for WP and RT. If that doesn't happen, Microsoft might get some goodwill from this but it won't help their profits.
  • There are also paid versions of Visual Studio.  Though you can get everything done in the free versions. I suspect there will be hooks for other services and other offerings as well.  
  • The Express versions are free, but have some limitations. The new Community edition is more full-featured, but is limited to individuals and small teams. Large companies and enterprises that are going to heavily use Visual Studio are going to get the paid Pro editions. I see this as well as some editions of Visual Studio as Microsoft wanting to increase adoption of their technologies. They are likely betting that this will lead to people using more Microsoft services and products, like Windows Server, Azure, and gives them a larger presence in more areas of the industry. For companies that prefer Linux or Unix servers over Windows it possibly opens more oppertunities there. It's the Enterprise where Microsoft makes the bulk of their money though large contract deals. It may or may not work as far as the 'halo-effect' goes, but I think Microsoft is realizing that they can only go so far by keeping their products and technology exclusive to their platforms. I don't see this as hurting them at this point. Microsoft isn't quite the powerhouse it was 15 years ago. We also see Microsoft doing similar things with free basic versions of Office for the web and mobile, cheaper Windows, and more products being developed for OS X, iOS, and Android. Microsoft wants to be everywhere, and they are hoping that the more people use their technology they are involved in, the more it'll help adoption of their other products and services in general as well. That's my speculation at least.
  • If you think about it, it might help Windows Phone development. If people can program .Net and know they can more easily cover and port between Android, iOS, Linux, OS X, Windows, and Windows Phone it might be more encouraging to use Visual Studio or something like Mono Develop then using a more narrower solution and developing only for iOS or Android and then having less insentive to do a lot more work to port to something like WP.
  • This is awesome news. It further opens the door toward reducing barriers toward bringing apps to Windows (RT/Phone/10). If Microsoft can show that developers can cover ALL mobile platforms by building in .NET, there is less chance of our favorite app platforms from being ignored. (And, I hate to admit it, but that blasted hamburger menu is one part of the GUI equivalent toward this goal.)
  • wow I mean seriously wow ... good move :) 
  • Wether maybe it means that the new version of Windows Phone 10 will be open source, if it is true then it is a very good news,
  • Nadella, go home! You're Drunk! Anyway, This is VERY VERY GOOD for developers like me and for the future of ".NET"  
  • Any specific reason for so much vitriol against Nadella? I mean the guy is making huge changes to keep MSFT competitive. If you can't appreciate at least don't criticize?
  • OMG . REALLY? You made my day! I am LOL!!!!! Do you even know what a MEME is? If you don't GOOGLE IT! kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk For example: http://uproxx.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/gohome-batman.jpg . Please dude, try to understand what ppl say in the comments b4 you reply! BTW, go home you too, you are more drunk than nadella ;)
  • Brilliant, Nik47 your taxi is outside, best go home and sleep it off. Remember to drink lots of water. 
  • Way to go Microsoft!
  • the mac is irrelevant, as this is just the core framework. however it will be great news for web developers as no longer will he have to deal with php/linux fanboys telling us why .net is not a good choice if you want to market to the lamp stack. in fact, screw lamp. L-IIS-NET all the way!!!
  • Does this mean mono is going to die?
  • Not really, Mono is being forked and Microsoft will directly contribute to it from hear on out.
  • Did it ever really live?
  • Nice move
  • Great news
  • What about on iOS and Andoird?  Now that would be awesome!
  • The first programming I ever did was for Android using Java and xml. I recently started to dabble in C# and xaml. I much much prefer the C# flavor, not to mention that I like VS a lot more than android studio/eclipse.