Microsoft was accused for many years in their secrecy about internals of the Frameworks and being overprotective when it comes to the point of someone looking at it.
No-one was allowed to look at the code for the purpose of to see how it works.
I, as a Pascal/Delphi developer for many years, enjoyed availability of internal source code of components and system functionality since it was always part of Delphi as we know it.
Well… it is about to change for MS code as well… not all the way… but…
In SD Times’ “.Net Source Code Released” from February 15, 2008 it is confirmed that Microsoft is changing its license policy in regard to source from “The .NET Framework source is licensed under the read-only reference license, the most restrictive of the company’s Shared Source licenses.” to more open version when “license does not apply to developers creating non-Windows software that has ‘the same or substantially the same features or functionality’ as the .NET Framework.”
You can find more from ScottGu’s Blog along with exploring a new license text itself which is called Microsoft Reference License or MS-RL. Scott also provides example of how to enable code reference with Visual Studio 2008.
I am sure there is always a twist in every story, but I think it is a good step forward for Microsoft.