This is not Bill Gates' Microsoft, and it's certainly not Steve Ballmer's Microsoft. Earlier on Monday, Microsoft revealed more about how it was releasing SQL Server to Linux. Then, the company announced that it was open-sourcing the Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools on GitHub.
This news comes only weeks after Microsoft told the world it was integrating Visual Studio with open-source Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Microsoft is clearly incorporating its development tools with those of the open-source community.
The Productivity Power Tools were first released in 2010. They are pack of powerful extensions to improve developer productivity. This free add-on has been downloaded more than half a million times in its various versions, and since their introduction these tools have been updated for every major Visual Studio release. Over time, many of its features have been merged into Visual Studio.
The open-source version has a subset of the extensions in Productivity Power Tools for Visual Studio 2015. Microsoft plans to make all the extensions open source over time.
The currently available extensions are:
- Copy As HTML
- Fix Mixed Tabs
- Ctrl+Click Go to Definition
- Match Margin
- Middle Click Scroll
- Peek F1
- Structure Visualizer
- Syntactic Line Compression
- Timestamp margin
Who knows what Microsoft will do next with Linux and open source? Personally, I'm betting on Exchange Server running on Linux. But, who knows, maybe Microsoft will open source Visual Studio first. After all, this is Satya Nadella's Microsoft.