Google, Samsung Back Microsoft's .NET Development Framework

Microsoft's not done causing a stir in open-source software community. The company's .NET Foundation rolls out the welcome mat for Google and Samsung.

Google Samsung .NET

Microsoft's 'Any Developer, Any App, Any Platform' strategy got a couple of major shots in the arm this week.

Yesterday, during the company's Connect(); 2016 developer event in New York City, after several overtures to the open-source software community, the Redmond, Wash. software maker finally buried the hatchet and announced it had joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum member. As a newly-minted platinum supporter, Microsoft pledges to pump at least a half-million dollars a year into the group coffers and back its open-source efforts.

In another sign of thawing relations with its open source-friendly rivals, the company also revealed on Nov. 17 that Google had joined the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group. Microsoft open sourced key parts of its .NET software development framework and formed the foundation back in 2014.

"Googlers have been quietly contributing to .NET Foundation projects and they're also helping drive the ECMA standard for C#," said Scott Hanselman, principal program manager at Microsoft Azure, ASP.NET and Web Tools, on stage. "The Google Cloud platform has recently announced full support for .NET developers and they've got integrations into Visual Studio and support for PowerShell. All of this is made possible by the open-source nature of .NET."

Google product manager Chris Sells said "the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) team has worked hard to ensure that .NET has first-class support on Google's infrastructure, including excellent infrastructure for Windows," in a Nov. 16 blog post. The company already offers .NET libraries for over 200 Google Cloud services, he reminded.

Fellow .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group member Samsung announced the release of .NET Core and Visual Studio Tools for Tizen, the open-source Linux-based operating system used in many of the company's connected devices. The South Korean electronics giant joined the Foundation in June and has been focusing on enabling support for ARM-based processors, Hanselman said.

Over 50 million devices, including wearables, mobile handsets, TVs and internet of things devices run Tizen. In 2017, Samsung will begin shipping its Tizen-based Smart TVs and other electronics with .NET support.

"Samsung is excited to be a part of the .NET community. .NET has an extensive developer base and great potential," said Seung-hwan Cho, executive vice president and deputy head of Samsung's Software Research and Development Center, in a statement. "Through thoughtful and progressive collaboration with Microsoft, Samsung is expecting to create unique development experiences for both Tizen and C# developers, enriching the Tizen ecosystem."

Finally, Hanselman announced the official release of .NET Core 1.1. The updated open-source framework comes with support for 1,380 APIs (application programming interfaces), an increased number of supported Linux distros (Linux Mint 18 and OpenSUSE 42.1), Azure cloud integrations and performance enhancements. Microsoft also made available the alpha release of its new .NET Core Tools that are based on MSBuild (Microsoft Build Engine) and features support for the csproj project format.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...