With .NET Shared Between Them, Microsoft and Red Hat Get Cozy

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 29, 2016

All the way back in 2014, Microsoft announced that it was open sourcing its cross platform .NET runtime platform, and the full open sourcing of .NET has been ramping up ever since. In tandem, the company has been open sourcing other key platform tools, such as the Visual Studio MSBuild tool. According to many observers, it's all part of the affinity that CEO Satya Nadella (shown) has for open source. He says he "loves Linux" and has reported that nearly 30 percent of Microsoft's Azure cloud is already Linux-based.

Last month at Red Hat Summit, Microsoft's open programming initiatives advanced again, as the company announced the general availability of .NET Core and ASP.NET Core 1.0. And now, Microsoft and Red Hat have delivered on their promise to bring .NET to Red Hat's open source, Linux-based platforms. Not only is .NET available via containers on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and OpenShift, Red Hat's platform for running containerized apps, but the two companies are supporting these apps.

This marks a major move away from Microsoft's traditional wariness toward open source.

As The VAR Guy notes:

"For Red Hat, the .NET support will help attract programmers who want more flexibility in the frameworks and platforms they use...Meanwhile, Microsoft gets more interest from developers in .NET applications. But the value of the deal for Redmond isn't just about increasing the popularity of .NET. The real significance lies in encouraging the development of more .NET apps for Linux, which can in turn be run on Microsoft's cloud."

Precisely, the cloud is the great mediator here. Many people don't realize that prior to becoming CEO, Satya Nadella ran Microsoft's cloud division. Many of Microsoft's open source moves are being driven by the fact that in the cloud, practices must be ecumenical and openness is required.

For years, .NET was one of many Microsoft technologies that was focused in a proprietary way to keep the Windows platform fully protected by moats. Visual Studio and .NET have been core components in Microsoft's strategy for a long time, and it's good to see them becoming open. 

In conjunction with its announcements, Microsoft officials also said that Samsung is joining the .NET Foundation. That means that one of the biggest players in the Android space is now in the .NET camp, too. Stay tuned for more on this front.