Microsoft to developers: These are our biggest and best open-source projects

Microsoft has launched a new website that shows off its open-source credentials.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft, under CEO Satya Nadella, has said and done a lot to shed its image as a pariah of Linux and open-source software communities.

With a Linux kernel for Windows 10, GitHub, a new Android Surface Duo, and the commercial cloud as its main source of revenue, Microsoft is a very different company than it was 30 years ago when it was afraid open-source software would gobble up its intellectual property and revenues.    

Nowadays, it's got a growing number of open-source projects, including its hugely popular cross-platform code editor Visual Studio Code (VS Code), .NET Core, the hit JavaScript-based programming language TypeScript, and new open-source Windows developer tools like PowerToys and Windows Terminal

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Microsoft has now launched a website – of course built on open-source technologies – to showcase how it's embracing open source to "bring choice, technology and community to our customers". 

According to the company, over 35,000 engineers at the company are using GitHub Enterprise Cloud to host and release official Microsoft open-source projects, samples, and documentation. 

The site also details the influence the One Engineering System (1ES) team has on the Microsoft open-source program. 1ES, a team of around 200 people, aims to improve Microsoft's own engineering processes and then bring these tools and processes to customers, such as the Git Virtual File System (GVFS).   

Jeff Wilcox, a software engineer with the Microsoft Open Source Programs Office, announced the new site today. He notes that it is "built by the Ruby open-source project Jekyll (that also powers GitHub Pages)". 

Wilcox reckons the site provides "a near real-time view of things happening across our projects on GitHub".

It's of course hosted in the Azure cloud and makes use of Microsoft's own Azure Front Door service for managing containers in the Azure Kubernetes Services, as well as TypeScript and Node.js.

Among the main open-source projects from Microsoft are Windows Terminal, VS Code, .NET MAUI, the Windows Calculator, TypeScript, the Cascadia Code font, the Windows package manager Winget, PowerShell, and the source code for the Linux kernel used in Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. 

The site also highlights Microsoft's Free and Open Source Software Fund (FOSS Fund), which allows Microsoft employees to "collectively select open-source projects to receive $10,000 sponsorship awards throughout the year."

"Microsoft's engineers select projects they are super passionate about. Only employees who contribute to open-source projects can participate in the selection process," Microsoft states.

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Last week, Google showed off its contributions to open-source software, revealing that around 12,500 Google employees contribute to public code repositories. 

In 2019 Google employees created over 570,000 issues, opened over 150,000 pull requests, and created more than 36,000 push events on GitHub. 

Microsoft argued at the time it acquired GitHub in 2018 that it was the most active organization on the hosting and development service because its employees had made two million commits, or updates, to open-source projects in a year.

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