With all the exciting changes in the .NET Ecosystem and the opening up of the platform to individuals and companies outside Microsoft, the .NET Foundation has recognized that it’s important that we help open up how technical decisions are made in the .NET platform as well as keep everyone on the same page as to the direction of the combined projects that make up the core components of the .NET platform. Therefore, today we are creating a new working group in the .NET Foundation to fulfil this role - the Technical Steering Group.

I am pleased to announce that Red Hat, JetBrains and Unity have agreed to join Microsoft on the .NET Foundation Technical Steering Group. This marks an important milestone in opening the technical decision making processes of the core .NET components and also demonstrates the commitment of these partners in helping to make sure .NET continues to be an open, innovate and exciting development platform.


When I talked with developers in the early days of .NET there was a common misconception that there was a single all-powerful .NET team somewhere hidden in an building on the Microsoft campus working away on all the various .NET APIs that they used. However that's never been the case. While there is a core team of engineers working on the compiler, languages, core libraries, web frameworks etc, there have also always been other teams in Microsoft working on other parts of .NET. These teams are spread across many groups and also spread across the globe. To ensure there was consensus in how the platform should move forward and co-ordination when it came to changes and major updates these teams would keep in touch via email, conference calls and occasional meetings.

In many ways, the Technical Steering Group is formalizing those existing processes to ensure co-ordination and strong technical review that happened between core .NET project teams in the past and opening this up so that all leaders of core .NET components in the .NET Foundation are part of the Technical Steering Group and also other companies and organizations who are basing the developer tools and products on a deep integration with the .NET platform.

The Technical Steering Group does not replace the efforts that individual projects do to ensure open community involvement in verifying their plans (such as theAPI review process from the CoreFX project or the C# Language Design process), but exists to ensure that all the core components are aligned with each other.

As discussed earlier, as well as the leaders of the core .NET components in the foundation, the following companies have also announced today that they are joining Microsoft in the Technical Steering Group

  • Red Hat are leading the charge when it comes to helping companies host .NET workloads on Linux with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Microsoft have a good, close partnership with Red Hat and they have already been involved in discussions around bringing features in .NET to Linux but the Technical Steering Group increases the strength of this relationship and opens it up to all the teams working on core .NET technologies - not just between individual teams in Red Hat and Microsoft.

  • JetBrains have built tools that .NET developers love for many years, including the hugely productive Visual Studio add-in ReSharper. At the start of the year, JetBrains also announced Project Rider, a cross-platform C# IDE, based on the IntelliJ Platform and using ReSharper technology. While ReSharper is hosted inside Visual Studio, Project Rider is a full, standalone IDE that runs on Mac OS X and Linux as well as Windows.  Project Rider has deep integrations across the .NET stack to allow it to make programing and debugging so productive, relying heavily on Mono and .NET Core.

  • Unity is far and away the world’s favourite game engine for creating mobile games on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. They are also leading the VR revolution with Native Oculus Rift, Gear VR, and Playstation VR support already available and Microsoft HoloLens + Steam VR/Vive on the way. Unity power many of the console and desktop games loved by gamers worldwide. The C# scripting engine at the heart of Unity is used by games developers across the world and continuing to keep this on the cutting edge of .NET development is critical to maintaining the performance and productivity for developers building on Unity. It also helps ensure all the blazing fast speed improvements being made flow both ways.

The excitement and innovation around .NET keeps growing and growing. I'm looking forward to seeing what this increased openness, co-ordination and collaboration will bring. Please join me in welcoming Red Hat, JetBrains and Unity to the Technical Steering Group.

Martin Woodward
Executive Director | .NET Foundation