Microsoft's been changing quite a bit - for the better - since Satya Nadella stepped in as company CEO, and I don't think that's a coincidence. In the latest major move, the company has announced that it will soon be open sourcing its .NET Core stack, which includes everything from ASP .NET 5 down to the Core runtime and Framework. Once completed, .NET Core will run on Linux and Mac OS X systems, along with Windows.
An important thing to note here is that this open sourcing, and the newly-supported OSes in general, is all server-side. That means that regular users won't be gaining a .NET client install for their Linux or OS X box, and potentially run legacy or current .NET desktop software on their own machines. That's a little unfortunate, but not much of a surprise - at least at this point. Things could change down-the-road.
Nonetheless, Microsoft's move here is important because it signifies that it's tired of losing out on potential marketshare because of the likes of Java, which is already fully cross-platform. Beyond that, many developers today will claim that Java is the best platform to go with, but with Microsoft planning to go open source, it could be the start of an aggressive fixing of things. In some ways, that might have to be the case, because not everyone managing non-Windows servers are likely to nip at the bit for .NET just because it becomes available after all these years.
Regardless of just how successful .NET proves to be on non-Windows platforms, this move by Microsoft is something I admittedly didn't ever see happening. But, times change, and the company realizes that. If only DirectX would enjoy the same kind of shift.
In related news, Microsoft has also released a bunch of updates to its Visual Studio family of products. Those using VS 2013 can now grab Update 4, for starters, while those liking to live on the bleeding-edge can download the VS 2015 Preview. A completely free version of VS has been released as well, called Visual Studio Community 2013, which Microsoft calls a "fully featured" edition of VS. If you're a VS developer and want to learn more, I highly encourage you to hit up the link below.