Microsoft is offering a look at its .Net source code to developers. There will be read access available through a stand-alone install, enabling developers to use a text reader of their choice, but no edits can be made to the code.The revelation of the .Net source code is primarily to offer developers a chance to see what’s going on with the code, offer validation for the .Net framework, and allow developers to find gaps and better debug their own applications. This is part of a larger initiative to become more open, providing additional transparency to the frameworks with which Microsoft applications work. Similar initiatives appealing to the developer’s community include Microsoft’s AJAX, ASP.net, and th Dynamic Runtime Library.
Considering Google’s plans to go the open route for a variety of web-based applications, and Adobe’s own projects to promote AIR products and web-based applications, Microsoft may be feeling more pressure to improve its open offerings. Getting developers in early stages is also a useful approach when it comes to gaining support for your products. It’s a dually beneficial partnership between a larger company and a community of developers, granting Microsoft an opportunity to see upcoming products, and even incubate some of them, which is partly the case with its new UK branch for its Startup Zone.
Adobe has taken this approach as well, helping to cultivate some products while also getting valuable feedback from the developer community, and has even acquired one such company (Buzzword) this week.