Yes Virginia, There is an Open Source .NET

Beyond the awesomeness of seeing the Rosetta touch down onto a comet today, we also saw a shift in the universe that some say would never have come. Microsoft has announced that they are doing some thing big with their popular .NET platform by taking it open source and expanding to run on Linux and OS X platforms. Yes, you read that right.

Opening up .NET to open source provides a number of very important changes to the way that Microsoft will be able to innovate and expand their platforms. For one thing, the expansion to allow community contribution has immediately amplified the developer pool for them. They’ve evened offered up a community edition of the Visual Studio platform for free to bring more developers on board.

Paving the way for Linux .NET

This really is something that many have been asking about for a long time. While many have done so with a tongue-in-cheek tone, the truth of the matter is that there are a massive number of .NET applications out in the world that would be ideal workloads to move to non-Windows platforms. As PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) becomes a powerful tool for the application developers, the draw towards the strength of the underlying operating systems begins to deteriorate. Add containers into the mix and you have a very real chance to unseat the dominance of the OS in the quickly evolving app-oriented market.

Is PowerShell Next?

There is already a PowerShell DSC offering to manage Linux resources, but just imagine a full-fledged PowerShell for Linux and OS X environments. This is a good possibility as we see Microsoft making inroads into other platforms where they typically chose not to dabble.

Is PowerShell needed on Linux? That’s a very valid question which talks more to the configuration management space than anything. Extending access to use the PowerShell framework into multiple guest OS environments could centralize the management onto the System Center platform which Microsoft has clearly pushed a lot of engineering into.

All Good News

If you ask me, this is great news. Some will claim this as something they’ve said should happen a long time ago. I’m sure that’s true. Regardless of who has predicted this tactic, it has landed now and the only thing that we have to do is wait to see the way it forms.

Microsoft did the announcement at their Connect(); event and have posted the full announcement here:

And as the title says paying homage to the classic tale, when asked if there is going to be an open source .NET for Linux, then yes Virginia, there is open source .NET.

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