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Microsoft is Using Mono and MonoDevelop to Leverage Windows and .NET

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What Microsoft has
What Microsoft has

What Microsoft wants
What Microsoft wants

Summary: Shades of an embrace & extend routine found in Novell’s labour

IS Mono Microsoft’s tool for “embrace, extend, and extinguish” of Free software developers? Our contributor Fewa sure thinks so. This is not to say that some nefarious thing is happening here or that a plan is executed by Novell at the behest of Microsoft. But it happens to be a side-effect and it mustn’t be overlooked.

“…it happens to be a side-effect and it mustn’t be overlooked.”The previous post spoke about how Novell projects began latching onto Microsoft’s. Specifically, as Miguel de Icaza puts it, “MonoDevelop runs on top of the .NET Framework and uses the .NET managed debugger instead of using Mono’s runtime and Mono’s debugger, so there is no dependency on Mono to be installed on the system.

In other words, Novell programs help developers work directly with (and for) Microsoft .NET, under the illusion that what they do is “Free software”. Does that sound familiar?

Microsoft is trying very hard to get Free software developers to use Visual Studio, which is proprietary. Last year Microsoft paid SourceForge a lot of money to even recommend Visual Studio. It was a sham and more background from that time can be found in [1, 2, 3].

Another developer is realising that the whole thing smells funny and serves as a potential trap. From his very latest essay: [hat tip: tacone]

Mono actually is dangerous


In a recent iTWire article titled “The elusive, royalty-free patent licence for Mono”, Sam Varghese contacts Ecmea for the patent terms surrounding Mono. Remember that the mono camp always throws the argument at people that mono follows an Ecmea standard and as such is free to implement?


He reaches a very simple conclusion:
“To me, it looks this licence is as real as the unicorn. Or maybe Santa Claus. I think Mono fans need to think of a fresh defence when people talk about the dangers of patent suits arising over this technology. The licence talk has worn more than a little thin.”

Thanks for a great piece of investigation to Sam.

Now, can we please take a real look into this before we rip out Rhythmbox in favour of Banshee in Ubuntu and can we please reinvestigate making Gnome depend on mono (currently by virtue of Tomboy)?

The opposition to Mono in Ubuntu keeps growing [1, 2] because of new evidence, not to mention Microsoft lawsuits against Linux. Will Canonical pay attention?

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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  1. eet said,

    June 5, 2009 at 10:34 am


    What a bad case of mental diarrhea you’re suffering from, Royster… It just seems to flow out of your mouth the second you open it.

    Beware of the flies! The evil flies of Novell!

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 5, 2009 at 11:59 am


    Mono boosters always respond to the licensing problem with ad hominems. It’s been that way since the start of the project. It looks to be their job to sucker naive or stupid developers into the box.

    Would you sign a contract while leaving the line for the price blank? Thought not.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This recent article provides a good answer.

  3. eet said,

    June 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm


    Be honest, most of you guys only learned the words ‘ad hominem’ (yes, it is _two_ words) reading this blog, and hell knows where Roy has learnt it. Judging from his fondness of it, it’s one of the few Latin words he came across during his prep of his PhD. And knowing how that one is coming along, that explains SOME things…

    BTW, Anti-Mono-FUDders like yourself always shine by not knowing the facts and not knowing how to reason. Being enraged doesn’t suffice to enter a discussion.

    But well, unfortunately this is exactly what this blog is about – spreading hatred without being informed (or very bright, for that matter).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Show us the agreement which says that everyone is at liberty to use the lame java imitation, .NET and C#, and that it is irrevocably royalty free, documented and without contstraints on use, re-use or re-distribution.

    Oh, waitt. There isn’t one..

    What’s with the sudden whinging from the MS boosters?

    Could it be that Java SE is getting too much press?


    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The return of this known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world is very telling.

    We must be on the right topic.

  4. Dan O'Brian said,

    June 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm


    I don’t see what is so bad about MonoDevelop on Windows. It’s not like you can’t run MonoDevelop on Mono on Windows, seems to me that they just made it possible to use on Microsoft’s .NET to make it easier for people to get started.

    The purpose of porting Mono and MonoDevelop to Windows is to make it easier for developers that don’t want to switch to the Linux desktop to develop applications for Mono, which will run on Linux as well.

    This allows Windows and MacOS developers to more easily target the Linux platform for their .NET applications. This is a Good Thing(tm). Maybe you will continue to refuse to run any .NET apps on Linux, but there are a lot of users who are interested in running apps that happen to be written in .NET on their Linux machines (some are even willing to pay money for this). This much is obvious because a number of companies are starting to offer their .NET products for Linux using Mono.

    Another logical reason for porting MonoDevelop to Windows is that it allows developers to use the same IDE no matter what platform they are using. For example, a developer might write some code in Windows on MonoDevelop one day and switch to Linux to test some things out and be able to use the same IDE.

    Yet a third reason (which Miguel pointed out) is that it opens the doors for Windows developers to start contributing to MonoDevelop to make it even better. There exists a huge number of developers on Windows who know and program in .NET and making it easy for them to contribute to your project can only help the project improve – especially with a project like MonoDevelop which is an application used by developers.

    I really don’t get why you are so upset over this… it’s not like Mono or MonoDevelop being available on Windows hurts you or Linux at all. It only provides another option to Windows developers, it does not subtract anything from Linux developers nor users.

  5. vexorian said,

    June 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm


    Hi Roy, the other day I noticed you linked to my brainstorm thread about keeping RB and not moving to Banshee, I mostly did it because I like RB and Banshee, besides of bringing a Mono dependency, is not really as good.

    The thread, out of sudden was declared a ‘duplicate’, what’s worse is that the votes were not just locked (like what happens in brainstorm when something is marked as duplicate) but completely removed:

    It used to have many votes for ‘Keep Rhythmbox” and many negative votes for “Move to Banshee” , it seems that the Mono zealots have acquired too much control of ubuntu brainstorm this is a disgrace.

  6. vexorian said,

    June 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm


    Suggestion: change the comment in the top from “What Microsoft has” to “What Microsoft sees”.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, that’s what I’ve heard elsewhere.

    Microsoft and its cronies need to gain control over the biggest userbases.

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