Microsoft Opening Up

Wow, what a surprising way to start they day! Other than my four-year old getting up at 5:30am, the big surprise was seeing Scott Hanselman’s blog post on Microsoft taking ASP.NET MVC and Razor open source. They’re even using the Apache license, so no one-off Microsoft secret-sauce license. And to put a cherry on top, they’re using Git for version control.

While I’m glad Microsoft is taking these steps, the reality is they don’t have a choice. I was talking with a couple recruiters in the local area last week. They said .NET was the big language during the Great Recession, but now all the work and openings are for Java. The .NET stuff people are looking for is actually for Sharepoint, so not real .NET.

The .NET ecosystem is losing mindshare and the open sourcing of some key pieces of the stack is a way to try to spark some developer interest. GitHub is the virtual public house for coders today, so Microsoft wants to jump on that bandwagon too. In this case, they’re supporting Git, but keeping the hosting at Codeplex, so they’re still trying maintain their alternate universe.

I applaud Microsoft for taking these steps, but I would have been more impressed if they did this two years ago when they were holding a winning hand rather than today where they’re competing with Adobe in a race to the bottom.

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