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It's a new, open world for Microsoft developers. With the announcements that Microsoft has made WinForms and WPF open source, and the changes to the .NET Foundation, there is a lot of change in the air. Here's why should you care and what lies ahead.

During the Microsoft Connect(); event, Scott Hanselman announced that Progress and the Telerik team is among the first corporate sponsors of the .NET Foundation. As a developer, you may have tuned out when you heard the word “corporate” but if you did that, you might have missed something really important. Microsoft not only announced the new corporate sponsors who would have a seat on the technical advisory board, but it announced that it has adopted an entirely new open membership model. This is an important point that should not be overlooked. 

Those who have been in the Microsoft world for any length of time will remember the days when “Open Source” was a bad phrase. After Satya Nadella took the reins at Microsoft, all of that began to change. And we think it was change for the better.

Opening membership to the .NET Foundation means that the community truly will have a larger say in the direction of .NET. It also further demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to open source as this announcement comes on the heels of some similar ones – the open sourcing of Xamarin, open sourcing its patents, open sourcing Visual Studio Code, and, most recently, open sourcing WinForms and WPF.

Our commitment to the .NET Foundation underlies our commitment to the developer community as a whole. We have open sourced our UWP controls, JustAssembly and the engine of JustDecompile are open source, and we are the creators of NativeScript. By participating on a larger scale in the .NET Foundation, we will help to ensure there is a healthy open source community with resources to help ensure the worldwide .NET open source and developer base grow to their full potential. The corporate sponsorship funds contributed to the .NET Foundation will be used to provide speaker grants to the global network of Meetups and User Groups; fund in-person conferences and hackathons; and more.

In addition to the sponsorship, the Telerik team at Progress will be donating its time and expertise by serving as technical advisers to help shape the future of .NET by advocating for the needs of the .NET open source developer community.

We believe that the announcements today – the open sourcing of WinForms and WPF and the adoption of an open membership model with corporate sponsors – are just the latest stop on Microsoft’s open source journey. And while they are dedicated to open source, there are a few things left that they haven’t really talked about.

ASP.NET AJAX. Microsoft did not open source Web Forms back in 2012 because it was part of the System.Web.dll that parts of the Windows Server platform have a dependency on. We don’t think this will change, so we are betting Microsoft will leave this one as is.

Windows. A few years ago if you asked me if I thought they would open source Windows I would have just laughed. But they did open source PowerShell… so maybe there is more they could share. The biggest concern would most certainly have to be around security.

I guess time will tell. What are we missing? What do you think will be the next open source announcement that Microsoft makes?

And while you are here, check out the rest of the news we have - including our new support for Visual Studio 2019 and .NET Core 3.0.


Sara Faatz
About the Author

Sara Faatz

Sara Faatz is a senior product marketing manager on the Progress Telerik team. She has spent the majority of her career in the developer space building community, producing events, creating marketing programs, and more. When she's not working, she likes diving with sharks, running, and watching hockey.

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