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Microsoft Continues To Make Everything Open Source

It appears as though more big names in the technology industry are looking to make the majority of their products open source. Just recently, Microsoft made Chakra, the JavaScript engine used in its Edge Web browser, open source. Even more recently, the company did the same for Live Writer, its blogging application.

Microsoft Open Source

Live Writer allows users to write posts offline and publish them later. The application comes equipped with a variety of tools and features—such as, spell check, image manipulation, maps from virtual earth and improved category management. For bloggers, Live Writer has almost everything they could want to craft the perfect blog post and make it a multimedia experience by adding video, audio and visuals. However, users that aren’t satisfied with all of the options that Live Writer offers can write their own, as the app’s code is now open source. The code is available on Github—the open source coding platform where most major projects live—and, going forward, can be developed by the open source community.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first experience using Open Source; as mentioned, Chakra—the heart of the company’s Internet browser, Microsoft Edge—was made open source just recently on Dec. 5, 2015. In an effort to differentiate the non-open source version of Chakra from the new open sourced version, Microsoft has renamed it ChakraCore.

There are a few small differences between Chakra and ChakraCore. Most notably, Chakra has diagnostic APIs that use Microsoft component object model (COM) technology and, hence, are Windows-specific. These won't be in ChakraCore, however. Instead, a new set of diagnostic APIs will be developed and eventually integrated into the full Chakra.

Bigger companies, such as Microsoft, fully understand the benefits that come from making their software products open source. Using open source allows projects to be completed faster and more efficiently, as well as allows for more developers to share their ideas and make changes. The open source community certainly follows a pay-it-forward model. Microsoft, along with other big name brands in the technology space, Google, IBM and Netflix for example, are capitalizing on it.

The result? More innovative software and a chance for everyone to contribute. 

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More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.