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Microsoft Releasing .NET as Shared Source

Microsoft has decided to open up the code for its .NET Framework, though not as an open source project. Microsoft is releasing it under a Shared Source license, specifically the Microsoft Reference License, that allows developers access to all the source code, but only to look, not to change it. Microsoft wants to be more open, but it wants control of its own specs, so this license allows it to be a little more open with the community, while retaining control.

Microsoft should consider taking it further, spearheading a big scale open source project, like an open source version of a property of its that isn’t going anywhere, or an open source update to an aging piece of Windows infrastructure, as an experiment. If all goes well, the next version of Windows could ship with a component that has been completely updated with open source code under an open source license, and it could be a first step towards making the company a little more friendly.

Read some thoughts on the change at Mary Jo Foley’s blog.

October 12th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers | no comments

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