As part of its slew of announcements at its Connect(); 2016 developer event in New York City today, Microsoft revealed that Google is joining the .NET Foundation. Specifically, Google is becoming a member of the Technical Steering Group, which Microsoft says “reinforces the vibrancy of the .NET developer community” and also underlines “Google’s commitment to fostering an open platform that supports businesses and developers who have standardized on .NET.”
At its Build 2014 developer conference, Microsoft created the .NET Foundation, a group for overseeing the open-sourcing of .NET. In March 2016, Microsoft formed the Technical Steering Group to share the direction of .NET’s core components with other companies and interested parties. Unity, JetBrains, and Red Hat joined the foundation at that point, and Samsung followed in June. Speaking of which, Samsung today launched Visual Studio Tools for Tizen preview.
So what does Google’s participation actually mean? In short, Google will help steer the future of .NET in a way that is “similar to an open standard,” Xamarin cofounder and Microsoft’s current vice president of mobile developer tools, Nat Friedman, told VentureBeat.
Google’s decision is being driven by its enterprise business (Google Cloud) and the desire to keep up with businesses adopting public and hybrid clouds. The company sees the move as part of its commitment to open-source technology, which benefits all enterprises, and cross-platform development that gives developers and IT professionals access to the best tools.
“.NET is a key component in the modern enterprise, and the Google Cloud Platform team has worked hard to ensure that .NET has first-class support on Google’s infrastructure, including excellent infrastructure for Windows,” Google product manager Chris Sells said in a statement. “For years, Google has offered .NET libraries for more than 200 of its cloud services. More recently, we’ve built native GCP support for Visual Studio and PowerShell. Google is already an active contributor to .NET, including heavy involvement in the ECMA specification for C#. Joining the Technical Steering Group for the .NET Foundation expands our participation.”
More than half of the GitHub contributions to .NET’s corefx and coreclr come from outside of Microsoft. It thus makes sense for tech companies that are helping shape .NET to also have a say in the platform’s future.