Nobody saw this coming.

This is huge for Apple — beyond huge. Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco a brand new version of its proprietary programming language, Swift. It comes with a number of innovations and upgrades to Xcode, its integrated development environment that contains a suite of software development tools for OS X and iOS, as well. But that's not the big news.

Apple's Craig Federighi got the biggest applause of the event — a massive standing ovation — when he announced that Swift 2 will be open source. That's right: not only does Swift 2 add a boatload of new features for developers to employ, its underlying code is going to be 100 percent open to anyone to open up and fiddle with it. That's a major first for the notoriously close-walled company.

Apple's biggest competitor, Google's Android, has been open source since it was launched. Apple has traditionally resisted open sourcing because it can lead to software fragmentation — a problem that's plagued Android devices for years. Time will tell if Apple's decision to make Swift 2 open source will solve problems or create a lot of new ones.

Federighi said that Swift 2 will be available "later this year" for iOS, OS X and Linux.

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