.NET at Build 2016 – Open, Cross-platform and FREE

Wow! Could you imagine your ecosystem being this good? It is.

Today, at Build 2016, we surprised a lot of people with some amazing announcements. If you were watching, you could tell that Scott Guthrie was having a lot of fun on stage. The announcements ranged from device to cloud, including a lot of open source and a lot of FREE! For .NET developers, now is a great time to look at the full breadth of options you have available using your existing skills. If you are not a .NET developer, it’s time to look at .NET again! The .NET ecosystem includes tools, APIs and services for every kind of developer, building every kind of app.

The Xamarin announcements:

  • Xamarin is now a part of Visual Studio, including in the free Visual Studio Community, enabling you to build iOS, Android and UWP apps that you can upload to any app store.
  • Xamarin Studio Community is free, just like Visual Studio Community.
  • Xamarin SDK (runtime, libraries and command line tools) will be made open source in the coming months.
  • Mono is re-licensed as MIT and part of the .NET Foundation, just like .NET Core.

The Red Hat announcements:

  • Red Hat announced the availability of a no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux developer subscription.
  • Red Hat launched a new site for .NET developers: redhatloves.net

The .NET Foundation announcements:

This tweet from pretty much covers it:

 Xamarin for Everyone

We’ve heard many predictions and guesses of how Xamarin would be integrated into Visual Studio and Microsoft. It turns out that reality is better than anyone guessed. Xamarin is now a key part of Visual Studio and included in the box, at no extra cost. It’s even included in the free Community edition. There’s never been a better reason to download Visual Studio and start developing your next app.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 3.17.40 PM

For those of you just joining the story, Xamarin is an Enterprise-grade solution for building iOS, Android and Windows 10 UWP apps, using C# or F# and .NET APIs. For .NET developers, it’s an obvious choice to target the newest platforms. If you already have Visual Studio 2015, you have Xamarin!

Here’s a great tweet that tells the story of how good the Xamarin tools are:

Mono for Anyone for Any Use

Mono been re-licensed with the MIT license and is now for of .NET Foundation. It’s now usable for any imaginable purpose. Mono has been ported to many OSes and CPUs. It’s very broadly applicable. It powers Xamarin, has been used in gaming systems and for desktop and server apps. 

The Mono that will be released is any slightly better than one that was available. Xamarin had some fixes and extensions that made Xamarin’s use of Mono a bit better. Those changes will all be released as part of this change.

Seriously, take Mono … do something amazing with it. You will make Miguel happy.

Red Hat Announces a No-Cost Option

It’s no secret that Red Hat and Microsoft have been working together to make .NET Core available as a first class developer platform option on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The teams have been working together for several months. There is a lot of demand for .NET on RHEL. It will soon be available. Red Hat has a new option that makes using .NET Core on RHEL even easier.

Today, Red Hat the availability of a no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux developer subscription that can be downloaded from their Red Hat Developers program site. Getting started guides are available to easily set up your Windows system as a Virtualbox, VMware, or Hyper-V guest. Download it today.

.NET Foundation Technical Steering Group

The number of companies involved in .NET has been growing. Many them are taking bigger and bigger bets on .NET, including Microsoft. These companies have told us that they want to be more involved in the direction of the .NET ecosystem, particularly on fundamental design issues that affect everyone. The .NET Foundation seems like the perfect place to have an industry-wide conversation on .NET.

The Technical Steering Group is really a formalization and expansion of something that already happens. The various .NET teams conduct roadmap and design reviews with each other and share much of that same information as part of .NET open source projects. The scope of those reviews will grow to include Technical Steering Group members.

The creation of this group is really a statement that .NET is so important to these businesses that they need more of a voice. This doesn’t change the way that .NET teams will engage with open source communities. In fact, additional formalism will probably have the side-effect that open source engagement will get better.

It’s a Great Time to be a .NET Developer

It really is a great time to be a .NET developer. There’s nothing stopping you from building a great app. In fact, Microsoft and the growing set of .NET companies are doing a lot to make it easy for you to build that great app.

Start building that app today, in Visual Studio, Xamarin Studio or Visual Studio Code, on any OS for any app. Enjoy!