Microsoft announced that it will open source .NET, its proprietary runtime framework across programming languages, at least in part.
It formally announced the .NET Foundation at yesterday's Microsoft Build Conference in San Francisco to oversee future development of large swathes of code that the company is releasing under Apache 2.0 licence.
The jewel in the crown is Roslyn, Microsoft's on-the-fly compiler stack, along with a range of libraries and components.
The .NET Foundation is made up of representatives of Microsoft and industry group representatives including code repository Gitgub and Xamarin, the iOS and Android to .NET tool designer.
This new, open source Microsoft is certainly a change after years of proprietary secrecy, and a reflection of the paradigm shift that has seen consumers who had previously been tied to Microsoft's software systems able to vote with their feet.
Open source libraries should drive down developer costs, leading to cheaper, more competitive applications. Combined with the company's earlier announcement that Windows will become free to licence for devices under 9in, perhaps these moves will at least begin to turn around Microsoft's falling market share.
Earlier this week, the UK Government announced a $5.5m payment to obtain Windows XP support for another 12 months, and Barking & Dagenham Council revealed that it had abandoned Windows XP in favour of Google Chromebooks at an estimated savings of £400,000. µ