Microsoft .NET is officially 20 years old

Microsoft .net retro logo
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is celebrating 20 years of .NET, its open source framework popular among developers of all stripes. 

"Today marks 20 years since Visual Studio .NET launched and the first version of the .NET platform was released (or should I say, unleashed) to the world," said Microsoft's Beth Massi in a blog post

According to Microsoft, over five million developers use .NET globally, and it was voted as the most loved framework on Stack Overflow in 2019, 2020, and 2021, which is quite an achievement for two decade old software. 

An open source friend

Building on .NET Framework, which was originally Windows-only, Microsoft expanded .NET over the years to include tools for developing apps on macOS and Linux. The company also led the way on open sourcing the project, resulting in an open source version on Github in 2014. 

The company is hosting some cool content and events at (a very charming domain), so make sure to check those out if you're a fan. 

Microsoft has famously had some issues with open source software, especially during the 2000s, and many were worried during its Github acquisition that the company wasn't operating on the level. 

Over time, however, Microsoft has proven itself to be a welcome contributor to the open source community and .NET is a fantastic example of why: cross-platform tools beloved by developers. 

".NET has come a long way in 20 years but the original vision to change developers’ lives still holds true," says Massi. 

"You can build any type of app, for any operating system, with great performance. From high-throughput, cloud-scale services to the smallest microcontrollers .NET is there, and the community has made this platform and its large ecosystem a huge success." 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.