Microsoft moves to open ecosystem; joins Linux Foundation; adds Google to the .NET community

Microsoft Corp. launched Wednesday at its annual Connect(); developer event, a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company’s Azure cloud platform for building cross-platform apps and services.

The company will empower the ecosystem by giving developers improved choice in the tools they use, including by joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple’s Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company’s SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers.

As part of its effort to work more closely with the open source community, Microsoft on Wednesday announced it has joined the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member. Microsoft’s membership in the Linux Foundation will benefit customers through increased collaboration and innovation among a diverse ecosystem.

“By becoming a Linux Foundation Platinum member, Microsoft is better able to collaborate with the open source community to deliver transformative mobile and cloud experiences to more people,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “Microsoft has been a key contributor to many projects, and we see the company intensifying its involvement and commitment to open development.”

Microsoft has become an active member of the open source community in part through the popularity of its open source and cross-platform application framework .NET Core.

Wednesday’s addition of Google to the .NET Foundation’s Technical Steering Group further reinforces the vibrancy of the .NET developer community as well as Google’s commitment to fostering an open platform that supports businesses and developers who have standardized on .NET.

Other enterprises are also betting on .NET Core for their own commercial products. On Wednesday, Samsung is released a preview of its Visual Studio Tools for Tizen. Developers can use the tools to build .NET apps for the Tizen operating system that runs on millions of Samsung TVs, wearables, mobile devices and many IoT devices globally.

With impactful apps using data from users that drive business outcomes, Microsoft offers newer capabilities and services that make it easier for developers to turn massive amounts of data into personal, intelligent and predictive applications.

The SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 availability makes database innovations accessible to more applications across product editions; while the Azure Data Lake Analytics and Data Lake Store gives developers and data scientists the capabilities required to store and process data at petabyte size files, with massively parallel analytics and enterprise-grade security for insights on data of any size, shape and speed.

Microsoft’s solutions evolve with changing developer needs. Through the Visual Studio line, SQL Server, Windows, Office and Azure, Microsoft is working to provide a platform for application innovation, spanning mobile and cloud.

The Visual Studio Mobile Center preview announced Wednesday brings together the cloud and life-cycle services that help developers build, test, distribute and monitor apps built in Objective-C, Swift, Java, Xamarin and React Native for Android-, iOS- and Windows-based devices.

The Visual Studio 2017 release candidate released Wednesday includes new capabilities to help any developer be more productive than ever for any application and any platform; while the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 and Azure Application Insights are now available, providing an enhanced collaboration and DevOps platform for cloud- first, mobile-first scenarios.

“Microsoft is transforming the nature of its appeal to developers by broadening its supported platforms,” said Al Hilwa, research director for Software Development research at IDC. “The new partnerships and commitments allow Microsoft to meet developers where they are and multiply its reach and impact with mobile and cloud developers as well as become established in emerging areas such as IoT, data science and cognitive computing.”

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