Microsoft is holding a virtual conference today called Connect() and it’s keynote is chock full of new announcements.  Chief among many is that Microsoft is going to make the entire .NET core stack open source with its next release as well as offering server side .NET implementations for Linux and OSX.  They are also furthering their commitment to development in Visual Studio targeting any mobile device with a new Community Edition of Visual Studio that will support development of native .NET apps via a partnership with Xamarin as well as hybrid apps using Apache Cordova.  Microsoft is also showcasing the next version of Visual Studio aptly called Visual Studio 2015 Preview which is available today.

Microsoft .NET Open Sourced

dotnetopensourceOver the coming months, we will be open sourcing the full server-side .NET Core stack, from ASP.NET 5 down to the Core Runtime and Framework, and the open source .NET will be expanded to run on Linux and Mac OS X in addition to Windows.  — Somaseagar’s Blog

The open sourcing of the .NET stack is designed to give developers the ability to create applications that can run on any platform.  Microsoft is leveraging the work of the Mono open source project as well as tighter integration with Xamarin.

Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition

vs2013ceTo further lower the bar for developers to be able to create applications for any platform Microsoft is also announcing a new Community Edition of Visual Studio that will include the features for developing for iOS, Android, Windows, or Cloud.  While being touted as “full featured”, there will certainly be features of the higher SKUs like Premium and Ultimate that are not included and this version of Visual Studio is also not intended for commercial use.

Visual Studio 2015 Preview

Microsoft is also announcing the availability of a Preview version of Visual Studio 2015 and in the keynotes took some time to show off new productivity features such as PerfTips that provide performance insights during debugging.  They are also showing Smart Unit Tests that use the Pex technology from Microsoft Research to generate unit tests for code based on code analysis.

For more information, you can watch in-depth demos in the Connect() conference that will include 56 on-demand sessions available tomorrow.  We’ll have updates to this post as more information comes out.