Microsoft intends to reveal parts of the .NET 3.5 source code in its upcoming release of Visual Studio 2008.

The source code will be released under the Microsoft Reference License, which allows a developer to view the source but prevents them from making modifications.

Scott Guthrie, general manager Microsoft Developer Division, made the announcement in a blog post overnight.

Guthrie identified the .NET Base Class Libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, ADO.NET, XML and WPF as the libraries that will be among the first source release.

Other libraries are expected to be released in the future.

Developers will be able to download the source as a separate install or have the source code integrated with the debugging tools provided in Visual Studio 2008.