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Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation

Microsoft announced the CodePlex Foundation yesterday.

The CodePlex Foundation, a non-profit foundation formed with the mission of enabling the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities, launched today, September 10, 2009.

So what’s the difference between CodePlex Foundataion and CodePlex.com?

CodePlex Foundation is an extension of the CodePlex brand established by Codeplex.com. Codeplex.com has not only built a strong community, with more than 10,000 projects now hosted on the site, but has steadily built a recognized brand. CodePlex.com launched in June of 2006 out of a need for a project hosting site that operated in a way that other forges didn’t – with features and structures that appealed to commercial software developers. The next chapter in solving for this challenge is the CodePlex Foundation (Codeplex.org). The Foundation is solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate. This is absolutely independent from the project hosting site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that Codeplex.com isn’t designed to solve.

Well, I didn’t get it exactly. But one thing is clear Microsoft, after years of learning right from the release of .Net beta in 2001, has finally learnt the importance of open source projects.

I still remember the fight I had with my manager in 2005 to implement ajax using the open source project Ajax.Net for framework 1.1. My manager was so skeptic about this third-party not so professional (in his eyes!) framework. But I won finally and we used it in a major project. That project was a success and it is still running fine.

But this is long back. Now the situation is changing rapidly. Organizations are opening up to open source projects; else how would NHibernate and Spring.Net would have been embraced like this? Let alone ASP.NET.MVC, we’ll have to wait.

What I like most with open source projects is this: Open source projects can be influential up on Microsoft. They make Microsoft to learn and adopt to the trends.

Scott Bellware says Microsoft has donated one million dollars to this foundation. In all perspectives, Microsoft’s change in direction looks promising. And this change is for good I hope.

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