Microsoft Starts Telling Its Open Source Stories

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Microsoft with 11 Comments

A new Microsoft blog is giving employees a way to tell their stories about taking products to open source. It’s called Microsoft Open Source Stories, of course.

“We’re enabling teams to tell their ‘open source journey’ stories at Microsoft using our new Medium publication,” Microsoft’s Dmitry Lyalin told me. “So far, three stories are live … We hope to tell over 20 stories through this process as we have had a lot of great stuff hidden behind the firewall.”

The three stories available so far are:

How Microsoft rewrote its C# compiler in C# and made it open source

“Roslyn is the codename-that-stuck for the open-source compiler for C# and Visual Basic.NET. Here’s how it started in the deepest darkness of last decade’s corporate Microsoft, and became an open source, cross-platform, public language engine for all things C# (and VB).”

Building an Open Source .NET Foundation

“It was April, 3rd 2014 when Anders Hejlsberg, father of the C# language, got on stage during the keynote at the Build conference in San Francisco and released the .NET Compiler Platform (‘Roslyn’) as open source and made the first pull request. That same keynote, Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Cloud & Enterprise group and one of the original creators of the ASP.NET web stack, announced the creation of the .NET Foundation. This was a pivotal point in .NET’s open source journey which spawned the avalanche of releasing software as open source at Microsoft. This is the story of the .NET Foundation.”

Python at Microsoft: flying under the radar

“Python is an important piece of Microsoft’s future in the cloud, being one of the essential languages for services and teams to support, as well as the most popular choice for the rapidly growing field of data science and analytics both inside and outside of the company. But Python hasn’t always had such a prestigious position around Microsoft.”

Great reading! I can’t wait to see more.


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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft Starts Telling Its Open Source Stories”

  1. warren

    Another sort of interesting open-source story that's come out of Microsoft this past week.....

    The .NET Rocks podcast just published an episode where they had a couple of people on from the Windows and VSTS groups. They talked about how they moved everything from their homegrown Source Depot product over to Git, and how they open-sourced their VSTS extensions that make it possible for the 33,000 people working on Windows (including 11,000 developers) (yes, they confirmed those numbers) to be able to work on a project of that size.

  2. Winner

    If they put the Windows APIs and UI on top of Linux (per the discussion I think on What the Tech), then it would be sort of like the old Lindows, but MS could use the name Winux instead. Then they could take all their kernel and security patch staff and instead work on UI improvements or other features.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Winner:

      So you think the kernel people would be good at creating UI? I don't think so.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Winner:

      Such a change would be very expensive. How many more copies of this new OS do you think MS would sell than they are selling of Windows now? I suspect it's a negative number. A subset of tech fans and developers would welcome this, nobody else cares.

      • Winner

        In reply to skane2600:

        The discussion in What the Tech and my concurrence is that the "Windows on top of Linux" would be the suggested hypothetical future of Windows - replacing old versions of Windows. This stemmed from the discussion of Edge moving to an OSS core (Chromium). The front end code would presumably be the same but linked to the underlying Chromium rendering engine. They get the rendering engine for free and Edge's kernel becomes automatically updated with Chromium revisions.

        Similarly for Windows - what value does MS get in paying for a huge staff trying to patch bugs and maintain Windows kernel code, when open-source Linux kernel is continuously maintained and available? The Linux kernel is more modular than Windows, it's leaner, it's more reliable, and most of it can be updated with out reboots.

        If Microsoft can fire their QA staff to save money, they should also be able to save or repurpose resources on kernel development that currently keep their hairball of Windows kernel alive and patched.

  3. simont

    Some very interesting articles. But why Medium I wonder.

  4. 1armedGeek

    This is very much needed. I am very involved in the civic technology community in my area. They absolutely go to open source technology whenever possible when they do their projects. Most of us use Google Docs and Sheets for collaboration. A lot of them use AWS for hosting. And so on. The thing is that people avoid anything Microsoft like the plague. Some people even talked about leaving Github when Microsoft acquired GitHub.

    I really hope Microsoft can convince more people that they are seriously serious about open source, seriously.

  5. melinau

    I think MS needs a bit more kudos for its Open Source work.