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Microsoft Open Source

Is Microsoft 'Reaping the Rewards' From Open-Sourcing Its .NET Core? (infoworld.com) 257

An anonymous reader quote InfoWorld: Two years ago Microsoft did the unthinkable: It declared it would open-source its .NET server-side cloud stack with the introduction of .NET Core... Thus far, the move has paid off. Microsoft has positioned .NET Core as a means for taking .NET beyond Windows. The cross-platform version extends .NET's reach to MacOS and Linux...

Developers are buying in, says Scott Hunter, Microsoft partner director program manager for .NET. "Forty percent of our .NET Core customers are brand-new developers to the platform, which is what we want with .NET Core," Hunter says. "We want to bring new people in." Thanks in considerable part to .NET Core, .NET has seen a 61% uptick in the number of developers engaged with the platform in the past year.

The article includes an interesting quote from Microsoft-watching analyst Rob Sanfilippo. "It could be argued that the technology generates indirect revenue by incenting the use of Azure services or Microsoft developer tools."
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Is Microsoft 'Reaping the Rewards' From Open-Sourcing Its .NET Core?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2016 @11:51PM (#53511799)

    This move allowed us to deploy C# code to all kinds of platforms, not just Windows machines, which is becoming much more important in enterprise and research fields. Our developers enjoy working in C#, and we can make good use of it across our enterprise-sanctioned systems, so advanced tools like Visual Studio (which is still a very nice IDE), become higher-value investments.

  • The first thing I thought about the "Oracle is going to start shaking down developers" article from yesterday was that it was a boon to C#.

    -scott

    • by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @01:32AM (#53512095)

      The first thing I thought about the "Oracle is going to start shaking down developers" article from yesterday was that it was a boon to C#.

      -scott

      If you flee from Oracle into the warm embrace of Microsoft, expecting everything will be fine, you deserve everything you are going to get. We'll read about it on slashdot in a few years: "Microsoft demands licensing fees from .NET developers", and some of us will be thinking "phew, I dodged another bullet there".

      But hey, if decades of experience with a company means nothing to you, by all means lock yourself into Microsoft's walled garden.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        Indeed. MS playing nice today != play nice tomorrow.

        Look at all the snoopware and install tricks they played with Windows 10 recently. The Gatesian Evil still lurks in the culture of that corporation.

        The cheese may be delicious, but that doesn't mean you are not inside a trap.

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @03:16AM (#53512309)

        We're 16 years into C# and 14 years into .NET, and they've gone from "will not sue" licensing to full blown opensource and multiplatform, with alternate GPL'd implementations if you don't like Microsoft's. How long do we need to wait before you'll move beyond blind religious zeal?

        • by Z80a ( 971949 )

          The current team of the .net is good and smart, but if some higher up decides that "they should focus more on getting direct profits", they might get forced to revert all this and go full oracle.
          Just look at the damage they did to Windows.

        • by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @08:10AM (#53512951)

          We're 16 years into C# and 14 years into .NET, and they've gone from "will not sue" licensing to full blown opensource and multiplatform, with alternate GPL'd implementations if you don't like Microsoft's. How long do we need to wait before you'll move beyond blind religious zeal?

          You are actually ready to trust the company that gave us Windows 10, then? And that might next year very well decide that _all_ Windows applications need to go through the Windows Store?

          Windows 10 has shown us there is no limit to the level of idiocy they are willing to commit to. And if you believe your future is in good hands with them, I can only wish you good luck.

          • Please mod parent up.
            I'm wary of making a commitment by anything Microsoft. The .NET situation might be ok right now but you never know, specially with a company with the history of Microsoft.
            Windows 10 may be technically ok (actually, not even that since its update have created lots of problems: Net not working...) but they made a few very user-hostile decisions and that's why I don't like it.
          • 'Trust' - who gives a fuck? My job pays me to know this environment at a high technical level, to deliver solutions based on it, and to recommend realistic alternatives when new projects are scoped (of which there are, in my world, none.) That they are even superficially moving towards more 'friendly' interaction with their userbase is a great sign, and most of the enterprise folks genuinely feel it's a lot better than just that. The overwhelming majority of us move in circles where 'just use Linux' makes a
            • by snadrus ( 930168 )

              You must be joking:
              - Phones/Tablets: 99+% on open kernels Linux & BSD.
              - Mainframes: PPC Linux
              - Supercomputing: Linux
              - Business apps Mostly on the cloud, running on Linux
              - IoT / motor-control: Hardened linux / RT Linux

              Do you notice your circles shrinking rapidly?

              All that's left I'm aware of is:
              - Game development
              - A few business apps that are local-intensive: CAD etc

              Anything else?

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        Please hold your breath while you look for an example of MS making a development tool available and then charging a license fee for its use after the fact. Take a couple hours to be thorough. And make sure to hold your breath the entire time.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @12:43AM (#53511997)

    Two years ago Microsoft did the unthinkable:

    I don't see what's so "unthinkable" about it; Microsoft has been pretty honest and well-behaved when it comes to .NET since the start: they created open standards, made legal commitments not to assert any patents, and have supported Mono. That is... unlike that other company and its platform.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @02:01AM (#53512149)

      Microsoft has been pretty honest and well-behaved when it comes to .NET since the start:

      That's pretty amusing considering .Net started because they got sued for forking Java, so they make a Java clean-room clone and went with that.

      That said .Net has gone it's own way and Microsoft has been much better behaved lately. But to say it's been so "since the start" of .Net is a massive retcon.

      • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @02:32AM (#53512221)

        That's pretty amusing considering .Net started because they got sued for forking Java, so they make a Java clean-room clone and went with that.

        Sun had originally promised to make Java an ANSI/ISO standard, and they broke that promise, turning Java into a proprietary standard with an open source implementation. Sun had also promised to make Java a good platform for GUI applications, something else they utterly failed at. I think Microsoft was completely justified in doing what they were doing with Java, and Sun was confirming how dishonest and untrustworthy they were with their lawsuit.

        • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @06:05AM (#53512653)

          Sun's problem with GUI applications is that they didn't understand them. They had a big machine mentality, not small PC mentality. They never caught on that GUIs are quite like realtime apps, and response at the keyboard and screen really matters. Their notion of creating and freeing "graphic objects" was guaranteed to make GUIs look like they were swimming in molasses.

        • I think Microsoft was completely justified in doing what they were doing with Java,

          Using Sun's trademark without permission? Selling something inferior to Sun Java as Java, diluting the value of the brand? You think those were justified acts? How long have you been on the Microsoft payroll?

          • Using Sun's trademark without permission?

            How is calling your compiler "Visual J++" using Sun's trademark?

        • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @09:18AM (#53513309) Journal

          Java is probably one of the best, on par with Qt, 'technologies' for GUI applications, and that since far over a decade.
          You must be living under a rock. (Or must have a pretty weird idea how 'good gui programming' looks like.

          I think Microsoft was completely justified in doing what they were doing with Java, and Sun was confirming how dishonest and untrustworthy they were with their lawsuit.
          That is bollocks. M$ did the embrace, extend, extinguish tactics with Java by "adding" unportable extensions. Java programs written for the MS platform where no longer 'compile once run everywhere' hence Sun sued: rightfully, both in legal as in moral sense.

          • Java is probably one of the best [platforms for UI applications]

            And that's why the Java desktop [google.com] has been such a smashing success? [google.com]

            I understand why you say that: Java and Qt are nice for GUI development from a programmer's perspective. But what counts with GUIs is how well they function for users, and java isn't doing too well there

            That is bollocks. M$ did the embrace, extend, extinguish tactics with Java by "adding" unportable extensions. Java programs written for the MS platform where no longer 'compile onc

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        Microsoft has been much better behaved lately

        *cough* Windows 10 *cough*

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @03:16AM (#53512311) Journal

      I don't see what's so "unthinkable" about it; Microsoft has been pretty honest and well-behaved when it comes to .NET since the start:

      Because it's completely a reversed position from what they had before. See the "halloween letters" for example. It took a long time for the Open Source virus to infect Microsoft, but it's there now.

      • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @04:59AM (#53512513)

        Sure, if you have been in a coma for 20 years and just woken up, this change in position may surprise you. To the rest of us, it's been a pretty gradual development.

        • It has been happening gradually even under Ballmer, but Nadella really kicked it into high gear and made it an explicit top-down strategy throughout the company.

          Some parts of it aren't even readily obvious. For example, did you know that Win10 ships SQLite in the box, as a serviceable OS component? (meaning it'll get security updates via WU etc). So any Win10 app can depend on that.

          • Yes, IBM incidentally went down the same route about a decade before Microsoft, from ultra-proprietary and litigious to open-source supporter.

    • by Raenex ( 947668 )

      made legal commitments not to assert any patents

      The devil is in the details. If Google had did to .NET what they did to Java, do you think they would have been covered? I think not. The promises are limited in scope.

      For instance, the Open Specification Promise [wikipedia.org] only applies to conforming implementations, something Google intentionally violated when they made their tweaked variation of Java.

      The promises are a legal landmine. They cover only certain technologies, including only certain versions of technologies, sometimes only certain groups (such as open so

      • The devil is in the details. If Google had did to .NET what they did to Java, do you think they would have been covered? I think not. The promises are limited in scope.

        It's an interesting question because there's a lot more at-play than simply "Technically not covered by the free license."

        I suspect Microsoft would have been delighted - just as Sun was - had Google produced a .NET-lite, programmable in full C# but with only some parts of the CLR and a different byte language. Why? Because programmers don

        • The next step might be Google joining Microsoft's .NET Foundation.

          Oh wait...
          https://developers.slashdot.org/story/16/11/16/1642201/google-joins-microsofts-net-foundation [slashdot.org]

        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          I suspect Microsoft would have been delighted - just as Sun was

          Sun may have put on a brave face, but they weren't particularly happy about losing control of "mobile Java" to Google. They tried working out a licensing deal early on and failed, and knew [arstechnica.com] they were going to lose a lot of licensing money to Android.

          As for Microsoft, we'll never know. But we do knew Microsoft has a cutthroat culture and are a bunch of corporate assholes. They can be trusted just as much as Oracle.

      • The covenant is reasonable [wikipedia.org]:

        The OSP is limited to implementations to the extent that they conform to those specifications. This allows for conformance to be partial. So if an implementation follows the specification for some aspects, and deviates in other aspects, then the Convent Not to Sue applies only to the implementation's aspects which follow the specification.[3]

        That's reasonable. It allows implementors to implement whatever they want of the spec. All it is saying that you can't just implement some ot

        • by Raenex ( 947668 )

          That's reasonable. It allows implementors to implement whatever they want of the spec.

          And as soon as you fall off the spec, those patents aren't covered. Whether Google would have run afoul or not would depend on how they deviated, as in did they use any of the patents in non-conforming material.

          Note that Android manufacturers are already paying Microsoft licensing fees for open source software that they are shipping

          Showing that Microsoft is more than happy to use the patent hammer when it suits them, so you'd better be careful you don't step over the lines Microsoft has laid out.

          Finally, any patents relevant to most of .NET are expired or soon expiring, so they don't matter anymore.

          Is that so? Because .NET keeps evolving and new patents keep on being filed. Just take a look at the list [microsoft.com] of patents. I picked [google.com] one of

          • And as soon as you fall off the spec, those patents aren't covered. Whether Google would have run afoul or not would depend on how they deviated, as in did they use any of the patents in non-conforming material.

            You are misreading what that clause means. That clause simply means that Microsoft only grants you patents that are necessary for implementing the spec, no more and no less. That is exactly what such a covenant should look like. If you disagree, try to formulate a better version of the same clause.

            Is

    • ...[Microsoft] made legal commitments not to assert any patents....

      And you have been suckered in by Microsoft's double-speak. Microsoft promised, at best, to not sue you for patent violations when you use a particular version of certain parts of .Net Core. They reserve the right to sue you later for using a slightly different version of those same parts of .Net Core, and to sue you for using the parts of .Net Core not covered by the patent pledge. They're just waiting for you to become dependent on their product before springing the trap some years down the road.

      This i

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @01:33AM (#53512097)
    I sure hope so. They're a corporate, profit-making entity, a fact which they've never attempted to hide or disavow. If there is a benefit to be had from open source, they'll take full advantage of that benefit - hopefully to the mutual benefit of their bottom line and the open source community.
    • Effectively making their shite trully cross platform will be a tremendous boost for them. Although personally I migrated from c#/.net to Java 2 years ago and don't ever plan on going back but I will say I have a lot more time for M$ than I do for Oracle.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      hopefully to the mutual benefit of their bottom line and the open source community.

      This is why open source licences are so important. OS projects need to protect themselves from exploitation, and companies need to signal their commitment with an appropriate licence.

  • The leading 3d engine (Unity) all the indies use is in c# for some strange reason. This gives it a special allure to a lot of game developers... so I don't see it going anywhere in the next five or ten years. It may last much longer than that too.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2016 @05:53AM (#53512627)

      http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/9675/is-unity-engine-written-in-monoc-or-c.html [unity3d.com]

      "The Unity runtime is written in C/C++. [...] The editor is built on the Unity runtime and additionally includes editor-specific C/C++ binaries."
      --AngryAnt (Emil Johansen), Ex Unity Technologies

      "Unity is written in C++, with the following exceptions: [...] There is hardly any functionality in UnityEngine.dll, the only thing it does is relay your c#/javascript calls into the C++ part of Unity. Without the C++ part there is nothing."
      --Lucas Meijer, Unity [unity3d.com]

      • Yes, and your point? Unity games are built on C#, mostly. Javascript, aka UnityScript is far more difficult to maintain through the changes in the framework code and tends to be brutally ugly. C# has the added advantage of getting support from Microsoft's own Visual Studio tools.

        While the engine itself is coded "close to the metal" using C/C++ to generate native binaries, all of the game in Unity (and a good chunk of the editor, as well) logic relies strictly on C#-generated IL.

      • That is the implementation of the game engine.
        All 'game code' is c# and/or JavaScript, AFAIK, a special c# compiler. Not one that compiles to CIL ... as other posters claimed here.

  • It's a trap (Score:4, Funny)

    by kbg ( 241421 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @06:53AM (#53512739)

    It's a trap!

    • Something haters have been saying for 15 years about .NET, and yet nothing has sprung, other than Microsoft selling lots of server licenses and MSDN licenses to big corporations, as well as actually maintaining a presence (albeit small compared to AWS) in the cloud with its Azure platform.

      It would be stupid and pointless for a company to wait this long to "spring a trap" - Oracle notwithstanding, because they've been working the Java legal gravy train for years against Google, and now the rest of their user

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      Of course it is. Its Microsoft. Their whole empire is built on lock-in.

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Monday December 19, 2016 @11:46AM (#53514299)

    I'd be willing to bet that a large part of the popularity doesn't have anything to do with .Net per se, but rather because Microsoft has positioned .Net as a competitor to Java, while at the same time Oracle is hell bent on making Java as distasteful to use as possible.

    Java is second only to C/C++ in terms of platform stability. Java is, quite simply, what you use when you need to write an enterprise-level app and you don't want to be forced into the Windows ecosystem.

    But Oracle happily poisons everything they touch. They destroyed OpenOffice. They destroyed MySQL. They have ruined pretty much everything that they got from Sun, and while Java has still been able to hang on, it has been despite their best efforts. Every bit of news that has Oracle and Java in it, is almost exclusively negative, where Oracle is trying to screw someone out of money. Hell, they're even squeezing Java developers, who are the primary reason the platform is even viable.

    When .Net was open sourced, people (including me) were shouting "It's a trap!", because Microsoft doesn't seem to do anything without an ulterior motive. Sometimes it's transparent, sometimes they do the long play, but at no point is "Microsoft" and "trust" used in the same sentence. But now we're at the point where you have two options. A possible "It's a trap" scenario with Microsoft, and Oracle's "We're gonna fuck you till you're dead, and then we'll fuck the corpse."

    So yeah, when those are your options, .Net definitely becomes a whole lot more attractive.

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