Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

Summary: Makers of embedded devices have been moving strongly into open source, especially Linux, and Microsoft was at great risk of being left behind.

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Regular readers here have probably guessed why Microsoft decided to open source .NET Micro under the Apache 2.0 license.

Competition.

Makers of embedded devices have been moving strongly into open source, especially Linux, and Microsoft was at great risk of being left behind. The announcement was made at the company's Professional Developer Conference in Los Angeles.

The news comes against the backdrop of falling market share for Windows Mobile, and increasing market share for Microsoft open source, as revealed in the latest Black Duck figures. They're not being nice here, they're being practical.

Here is how Microsoft community development manager Peter Galli put it on his blog:

The result of this is that the .NET Micro Framework has become a seamless development experience, bringing a single programming model and tool chain for the breadth of developer solutions, all the way from small intelligent devices, to servers and the cloud. There are also no more time-limited versions.

Note that Microsoft is not open sourcing the TCP/IP stack that .NET Micro links to. That's someone else's. But the news will let developers create Internet-linked device networks using .NET. It gives Microsoft an in to a technology open source, and Linux, were threatening to run away with.

The handwriting was probably on the wall here years ago, when Linux bought Wind River, and when innovative start-up Cavium bought MontaVista resistance became futile.

It must be noted that software is just a small part of any embedded, Internet-linked solution. It doesn't mean you're getting something for nothing, because the chips the software is expressed in are sold as part of larger devices.

It's all part of a vision I covered early this decade of wireless networks acting as application platforms, using Internet standards to create systems for home automation, medicine and entertainment that are always on and live in the air.

Now Microsoft has a viable play in this game, and this is very good news for .NET developers.

Topics: Linux, Browser, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development

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12 comments
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  • Hair line cracks?

    Is the "Kontrol" program from "Tron" beginning to crack?
    kd5auq
  • CE would be smart to go Linux.

    Less hassles, more reliability and no licensing costs.

    It's a no-brainer - Linux > Windows.
    itguy08
  • LOL!

    "The handwriting was probably on the wall here years ago, when Linux bought Wind River, and when innovative start-up Cavium bought MontaVista resistance became futile."

    The handwriting was on the wall when Microsoft open source'd the regular .NET framework two years ago.

    Do you ever stop cheerleading and do any critical thinking?
    SwashbucklingCowboy
    • I commented something like that in his other blog

      He seems to distort the facts to the point where its sounding like a troll of sorts?

      I think he just watched a rerun of Star Trek: TNG and said, "what can I do to use the "resistance is futile" line?
      SoSueMeThen
    • Links please

      "The handwriting was on the wall when Microsoft open source'd the
      regular .NET framework two years ago."

      .NET Micro Framework is release under an apache license. The .NET
      Framework and .NET Compact Framework are not.

      What do you believe was open sourced? Links please.

      Linux owns the embedded area now. As .NET doesn't have a Linux
      implementation (only a uncertified technology clone with patent
      issues) I'm not sure why Dana believes an open source license for .NET
      will improve it's penetration.
      Richard Flude
    • RE: Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

      It doesnt mean youre getting something for nothing, because the chips the software is expressed in are sold as part of larger devices.<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="LightGrey"> k</font></a>
      zakkiromi
  • thanks but no thanks...

    Nobody would touch .nyet or some failed project comming out of Redmond.
    Linux Geek
    • really?

      I kinda doubt about that.

      besides it's your wetdream... MS opensourcing it's code.
      Ceridan
  • RE: Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

    very very interesting!!!
    roktimdutta
  • RE: Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

    Very interesting, hope it comes off the way it should.
    roktimdutta
  • RE: Competition made Microsoft open source embedded .NET

    It is interesting and welcome!
    roktimdutta
  • Linux bought Wind river?

    I think you meant "Intel bought Wind River".

    I won't rib you as I am certain it was a typo.
    rarsa