Microsoft shocker: Open-source .NET, free Visual Studio, support for Linux, Mac, Android and iOS
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Microsoft shocker: Open-source .NET, free Visual Studio, support for Linux, Mac, Android and iOS

In a serious technique change designed to increase its horizons within the cloud, Microsoft will take its key software program improvement applied sciences into areas that the corporate has lengthy thought of enemy territory — giving builders new methods to make use of .NET and Visual Studio to make software program not simply for Home windows but additionally for Linux, Mac OS X, iOS and Android.

The landmark strikes, announced this morning, embrace a plan to open-source the .NET core server runtime and framework, making it attainable for outsiders to entry and contribute to the code that powers Microsoft’s software program improvement platform.

As a part of the change, Microsoft will give builders the means to make use of the .NET runtime and framework to make server- and cloud-based functions for Linux and Mac.

Microsoft can also be releasing a brand new, full-featured model of Visual Studio 2013 that can be out there for gratis to unbiased builders, college students, small corporations and others not making enterprise functions.

And the corporate is releasing a preview of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015 with new options for constructing functions that run on platforms together with Home windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

Taken collectively, the strikes are a large guess by the corporate, meant to make Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform extra aggressive by considerably growing the flexibility of the corporate’s developer applied sciences.

Microsoft counts greater than 6 million builders utilizing .NET, however in a world the place they have choices together with Java, PhP, Node.js, Ruby on Rails and many extra, the corporate desires to make sure its long-term viability in opposition to the likes of Amazon, Google and different main gamers in cloud computing.

“We wish to construct a set of developer instruments, developer companies, and a cloud platform that’s extremely related for each developer,” mentioned S. “Soma” Somasegar, the vp in control of Microsoft’s Developer Division. “Each developer — I might underscore that.”

The brand new capabilities are a part of a broader effort by Microsoft to look past Home windows to make its applied sciences work throughout all kinds of competing platforms. This has been a constant theme on the firm since Satya Nadella took the reins as CEO earlier this 12 months — prioritizing cell and cloud applied sciences over the corporate’s conventional Home windows and Workplace companies.

Simply final week, Microsoft made its flagship Office apps free on iPads and Android tablets, after beforehand requiring a paid subscription.

Immediately’s strikes “will shock a number of people,” predicted Jeffrey Hammond, vp and principal analyst with Forrester Analysis, describing the initiative as “a really totally different strategy than they may have taken below the earlier CEO.”

Longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s well-known chorus was, “builders, builders, builders!” however he additionally beloved to comply with that up with, “Home windows, Home windows, Home windows!”

Microsoft .NET was launched 12 years in the past, at a time when Home windows dominated the computing panorama, however the rise of tablets, smartphones and cloud computing have utterly upended the corporate’s enterprise. .NET has lengthy been the devoted improvement framework and runtime for Home windows, with 1.8 billion installations of .NET, by Microsoft’s depend.

Microsoft is altering to an organization that’s much less about Home windows and extra about Azure,” Forrester’s Hammond mentioned. Nadella, who led Microsoft Azure throughout Ballmer’s tenure, is making an attempt to present new Azure chief Scott Guthrie and his group “all of the instruments they must be profitable,” Hammond mentioned.

The corporate says it will likely be working carefully on the efforts with the open-source Mono neighborhood and startup Xamarin, which have beforehand enabled some cross-platform capabilities for .NET builders. For instance, Microsoft and Xamarin will allow a streamlined expertise for putting in Xamarin from Visual Studio, and add Visual Studio support to Xamarin Starter Version.

The corporate says the total server-side .NET Core stack can be open-sourced, together with ASP.NET 5, the Frequent Language Runtime and Base Class Libraries. The open-source .NET tasks can be a part of the .NET Foundation, with an related GitHub repository.

“If you’re a .NET developer, the alternatives are that a lot larger for you,” Somasegar mentioned. “You not should be constrained by anybody runtime surroundings. For the ecosystem, that is large as a result of we actually are open-sourcing the entire stack and not simply bits and items of the stack. We now have a possibility to construct a really broad, wealthy, open ecosystem across the .NET know-how stack.”

Somasegar mentioned the adjustments for .NET and Visual Studio mirror the bigger strategic course from Nadella.

“Satya has been super-clear,” he mentioned. “We’re the productiveness and platform firm. You’ve obtained the cell platform and the cloud platform, and then there are a number of know-how selections that folks should make. If you actually wish to be a productiveness firm, you’d higher take into consideration the way you’re going to ship these productiveness experiences to all people on this planet.”

Replace: Jim Zemlin, govt director of the Linux Basis, writes in this blog post …

“We don’t agree with every thing Microsoft does and actually many open supply tasks compete straight with Microsoft merchandise. Nevertheless, the brand new Microsoft we’re seeing in the present day is actually a special group in relation to open supply.

Microsoft understands that in the present day’s computing markets have modified and corporations can’t go it alone the way in which they as soon as did. Open supply has basically altered the software program trade and that places builders, builders, builders in cost.”

Notice: Reference to Xamarin corrected since unique publish.

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