.NET goes open source and cross-platform

Microsoft’s .NET framework, which is used to build millions of websites and online applications, is taking further steps to go completely open-source, Microsoft has announced at the Connect() virtual development event. The company also stated its commitment to eventually ensure the free code runs on Mac OS and Linux too, Wired reports.

The Windows developer announced that the full server .NET stack  will be open-sourced under the MIT license and hosted on GitHub. “This will include everything needed to execute .NET code – including the CLR, Just-In-Time Compiler (JIT), Garbage Collector (GC), and core .NET base class libraries,” wrote Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie in a  blog post.

“We want to have a developer offering that is relevant and attractive and valuable to any developer working on any kind of application.” explains Microsoft’s S. ‘Soma’ Somasegar.

Ars Technica notes that this isn’t the first time Microsoft has flirted with moving .NET to an open source model, reminding its readers that the company “open sourced a big chunk of .NET, publishing its new compiler, Roslyn, and many .NET libraries under the Apache license,” earlier in the year.

The full release of the code will take ‘several months’ according to The Register, but a few new components have already been added as of Wednesday. A similar timescale is predicted for the release of the code which will allow the software to run on Mac OS and Linux, with Somasegar telling Wired that, “it will be a few months before you can get your hands on this.”

Somasegar told Wired that the move to open-source .NET had been under discussion for ‘a good 12 years’, but Satya Nadella’s ascension to CEO has accelerated the process. “He is very good at driving forward, moving forward. Status quo, standing still, is not an option when you’re under that guy,” explained Somasegar.

“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,” he added.

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