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Microsoft’s part in a $US70m investment in CyanogenMod has raised many eyebrows: why is Microsoft investing in a popular version of the Android mobile phone operating system, when it has its own competing Windows Phone product? The firm’s motivations behind investing in the most open version of the Android operating system have justifiably made open-source advocates decidedly nervous.
In a move that would have been unthinkable a few years ago, Microsoft has made its development platform freely available and ready to support not only Windows, but Macs, Linux and Apple, and Google’s mobile phone platforms. Microsoft will now be working with organisations like Xamarin who have been providing a version of this platform across different mobile operating systems for some time but doing so without explicit and direct support from Microsoft.
Back in 2011, Microsoft launched Roslyn, a project to expose its .NET Compiler as a series of services. Now that project has gone open source, alongside a move by Microsoft to group all its open source activities under a new banner: the .NET Foundation.