Microsoft today said the full .NET server core stack will be open sourced and expanded to run on Linux and Apple OS X, removing the requirement to use WIndows for the popular development platform.
The .NET Core is a subset of the .NET framework and they share key components such as the just-in-time compiler and the Strings and List types, Microsoft said.
However, .NET Core was specifically created to become open source as well as cross-platform.
Somasegar said Microsoft's aspiration is to have developers at any level, from hobbyists to commercial coders, given access to platforms such as Visual Studio, .NET, the Azure cloud and other resources.
Today's announcement follows the April creation of the .NET Foundation by Microsoft, which saw a slew of tools and projects including the Roslyn compiler being released as open source.
The company also took steps to assuage developers that Microsoft would not pursue intellectual property rights for the open source projects.
Microsoft will release the .NET Core server stack under a MIT open source license and Somasegar said there will be an explicit patent promise issued, to clarify users' patent rights to .NET. Other projects use the Apache 2 license, with documentation released under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
A code repository for .NET projects has been set up on Github.
The Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), highly rated by coders, will also be opened up, Somasegar said.
Microsoft has also released a new Visual Studio Community 2013 edition that Somasegar said is a free, fully-featured version of the paid-for IDE. It can be used for free as long as that use is limited to non-enterprise application development.
Previews of the upcoming Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 2015 tools for cross-platform mobile and cloud development were also floated by Somasegar, along with a new release management service and deployment projects utility.
Developers targeting Google's Android mobile operating system can now use the x86 based Visual Studio Emulator for Android which is part of Visual Studio 2015, Microsoft said.
Update 4 for the current Visual Studio 2013 IDE was also released today, with features such a tool to access graphics processors.