Microsoft made a number of interesting announcement at Connect(); today. Here are a few of the ones that most interest me:
- .NET is now open-source. When Microsoft employees like Phil Haack opened the source to ASP.Net MVC, it was only after a major internal struggle. The fact that it took another 6 years to open the .NET framework source shows how much of a generational shift this move is. Assuming that they apply pull requests to the .NET framework, I see this working out pretty well long-term.
- Microsoft is committing to make .NET work cross-platform, supporting Linux and OS X. With recent moves like opening up Office for iPad and Android users, Microsoft’s starting to admit that there’s a big, broad world which doesn’t use Windows and they can either adapt or die. Another advantage to this is that you are no longer tied to Windows licensing for full .NET (and not just Mono, which is pretty cool but not something I’d trust my entire business on).
- Visual Studio will have a free community edition, which is basically Professional (~$499 a pop) minus a couple of features. The community edition will be available to students and open source projects. Given that .NET is at a disadvantage among start-ups, this move, combined with BizSpark, is an effort to try to capture some of that market space.
Given these cross-platform moves, I want to reiterate my dream: SQL Server and SQL Server Management Studio on Linux. Neither of these is ever likely to happen, but Microsoft has made slow moves in this direction, starting with a Linux ODBC driver and moving slowly into cross-platform support. If they ever get Visual Studio running cross-platform, Management Studio should be possible.