Microsoft Frees Code for .NET Build Engine

Mar 25, 2015

MSBuild is now just another GitHub project as Redmond continues its path to the light.

Microsoft announcement that the MSBuild engine, which is part of the Visual Studio suite, is now available in open source form at GitHub. The announcement continues Redmond’s gradual release of the .NET platform to open source. According to the announcement, “By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn’t installed. For instance, MSBuild is used to build the .NET Core Libraries and .NET Core Runtime open source projects.”

Microsoft says it will soon be adding Linux and Mac versions of MSBuild to support .NET development on alternative platforms. The company open-sourced the CoreCLR execution engine last month, and many of the core .NET libraries have also been freed for open development. Open source .NET implementations such as the Mono project have been around for years, but they have always operated at a disadvantage, with Microsoft controlling the specification and evolution of .NET. Microsoft’s embrace of the open source development model after years of opposition has helped its standing with developer communities – and will help to position .NET as the universal framework Microsoft always intended it to be, rather than a captive proprietary technology.

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