Microsoft turns Chakra JavaScript engine into open source IoT community

At JSConf US Last Call in Florida, Microsoft announced that ChakraCore will be open-sourced. This means that the core components of the Chakra JavaScript engine used in Microsoft Edge - as well as Windows 10 - will be made available for developers to tinker with as they see fit.

The ChakraCore repository is expected to hit GitHub in January, and Microsoft envisions it being used to power the Internet of Things as well as cloud services. The company says that it will be working with the likes of AMD, Intel and NodeSource to help develop a Chakra community as it aims to drive the progress of the 'modern web'.

While JavaScript has been with us for many years, Chakra only came to life in 2008. Over the years JavaScript has evolved from a tool use to control websites, into an essential utility to power apps, games and the cloud. The same technology is used to create Universal Windows applications for Windows 10 devices.

Revealing the open-sourcing decision on the Edge Developer blog, Microsoft's Gaurav Seth and Adalberto Foresti write:

Since its introduction in 2008, Chakra has grown to be a perfect choice for the web, cloud services, and the Internet of Things. With today’s announcement, we’re taking the next step by giving developers a fully supported and fully open-source JavaScript engine available to embed in their projects, innovate on top of, and contribute back to: ChakraCore.

Microsoft has great expectations for ChakraCore, explaining that it is "a fully fledged, self-contained JavaScript virtual machine that can be embedded in derivative products and power applications that need scriptability such as NoSQL databases, productivity software, and game engines".

Looking forward, the aim is to improve performance and expand usage far beyond the browser. Microsoft hopes that by bringing ChakraCore to the open-source community, this evolution can be accelerated.

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