Microsoft's open sourcing of .NET hits a major milestone

.NET Core is now generally available to bring the programming language to new OSes

Microsoft has released .NET Core.
Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Microsoft's open source programming language push reached a new milestone Monday, as the company announced the general availability of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core 1.0.

Those two projects are Microsoft's attempt to make the core elements of its programming language available for use on Linux and OS X, operating systems that previously didn't support it. To reach this milestone, more than 18,000 developers, representing 1,300 companies, contributed to .NET Core.

It's all part of Microsoft's push to make .NET available for developers to use across platforms, whether on the desktop, servers or mobile. To that end, the tech giant earlier this year acquired Xamarin, which makes a set of tools allowing developers to build mobile apps across iOS and Android using .NET, too.

Microsoft also has a group of new partners for .NET's open source push. Red Hat announced Monday that .NET Core will be supported on the company's Enterprise Linux distribution and its OpenShift platform-as-a-service offering. Samsung, meanwhile, has joined the .NET Foundation's Technical Steering Group.

What's more, Red Hat and Codenvy -- the company leading the charge for the Eclipse Che open source code editor project -- said they would both adopt Visual Studio Code's Language Server Protocol. Once implemented, the protocol will make it easier for other tools to implement some of the rich editing features like code completion that are available inside Microsoft’s open source code editor.

"Historically, most programming languages have only been optimized for a single tool," Codenvy CEO Tyler Jewell said in a press release. "This has prevented developers from using the editors they know and love, and has limited opportunities for language providers to reach a wide audience."

With a common protocol supported by Microsoft, Red Hat, and Codenvy, "developers can gain access to intelligence for any language within their favorite tools," Jewell added.

As part of the open source announcement bonanza, Microsoft will demonstrate SQL Server running on Linux at the Red Hat Summit in San Francisco this week. That comes on the heels of a demonstration of SQL Server on Linux running inside a Docker container at DockerCon last week.

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