Microsoft has taken a huge step to prove that it is slowly moving towards openness by open sourcing its .NET framework and providing Visual Studio Community 2013 for free to all developers. Microsoft also announced the release of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015.
The announcement means that Microsoft will be open sourcing its full server-side .NET Core stack over the course of next few months and will also ensure that open source .NET will run on Linux and Mac OS X in addition to Windows.
To achieve the open sourcing of its .NET framework, Microsoft has been working closely with the Mono community, which has been working to port the .NET framework to an open standard.
Microsoft released .NET framework some 12 years back and it is being used by millions of developers across the globe. By taking a step towards the openness Microsoft will be able to expand the framework’s reach even further by enabling developers build their apps across Linux, Mac and Windows with a common code base.
“With these releases, we are broadly opening up access to our industry leading platform and tools to every developer building any application in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world”, Microsoft announced.
No matter if you are a startup, a student, a hobbyist, an open source developer or a commercial developer, and no matter the platform you are targeting or the app you are creating, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Online, .NET and Azure will help you be successful.
Microsoft noted in its announcement that several of the key components of .NET framework including ASP.NET and C# compiler have already been opensourced and with the latest announcement it is releasing several additional components of the core .NET framework.
Microsoft is also providing Visual Studio Community 2013 for free with full extensibility – meaning that developers have at their disposal over 5,000 extensions.
Finally if you want to try your hands onto the next-gen preview versions of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015, you can get them here.