Microsoft today announced plans to open source .NET, the company’s software framework that primarily runs on Windows, and release it on GitHub. Furthermore, Microsoft also unveiled plans to take .NET cross-platform by targeting both Mac OS X and Linux.
As a person who proudly uses his Mac with Windows, this couldn’t be more exciting. Although Mono has been exposing .NET outside Windows for years, this move is a firm validation that cross-platform .NET is here to stay. Additionally, Microsoft released a free, full-pledge version of Visual Studio:
“The simple way to think about this is that we are broadening up access to Visual Studio,” Microsoft’s corporate VP of its Developer Division S. “Soma” Somasegar told me in an interview late last month. Somasegar told me that the Community Edition will allow you to build any kind of application for the Web, mobile devices, desktop and the cloud. “It’s a full features version of Visual Studio,” he noted. “It includes the full richness of the Visual Studio extensions and ecosystem.”
Visual Studio is the best development IDE out there hands down. However, it is crippled by two things: pricing and Windows lock in. Today, Microsoft potentially removed these barriers.