By this point, I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the news about Microsoft’s decision to open source the .NET framework. This blog will cover what the benefits of this decision are for developers and what it means. Remember this is just an opinion and I’m sure there are differing views out there in the wider community.
People no longer have to stick with Windows to develop .NET applications. They can choose between operating systems and this doesn’t lock developers down. It makes it more competitive and ultimately, opens .NET up to a wider audience.
The primary advantage of this announcement is that .NET developers can build more apps to run in more places, on more platforms. It means a more competitive marketplace, and improves developers and opens them up to one of the largest growing operating systems in the world, Linux.
Making .NET open source allows the code to be revised and rewritten. This will have dramatic outcomes for .NET and it will be interesting to see what developers do with the code as they continually look for new functionalities with .NET.
The ability to cross-develop on different operating systems is now massive. Previously, this was only available with the Mono project, Xamarin. With Microsoft looking to add more Xamarin tech to Visual Studio, this will be an interesting development to watch moving into 2015.
A new direction for Microsoft
By opening .NET up as open source software, Microsoft seems to have adopted a more “developer-friendly” approach under the new CEO, Satya Nadella. That’s not to say the previous CEO ignored developers, but by being more open as a company, and changing its view on open source, has allowed Microsoft to reach out to communities easier and quicker. Take the recent deal Microsoft made with Docker and it looks like Microsoft is heading in the right direction in terms of closing the gap between the company and developers.
Acknowledgement of other operating systems
When .NET first came around, around 2002, the entire world ran on Windows—it was the head operating system, certainly in terms of the mass audience. Today, that simply isn’t the case—you have Mac OSX, you have Linux—there is much more variety, and as a result .NET, by going open source, have acknowledged that Windows is no longer the number one option in workplaces.