Summary: Now that Microsoft formally recognises the contribution of Miguel de Icaza to Microsoft, there is no longer any reason to think of Mono as beneficial to GNU/Linux
Microsoft MVP Novell’s de Icaza [1, 2] has put GNU/Linux at risk and this risk is infectious. Here are the responses in Linux Today to the news about the MVP award. It’s overwhelmingly negative and it was probably intentionally posted by the editor right next to an item about Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux, as shown by Comes vs Microsoft exhibits.
Any attempt to promote Microsoft APIs and frameworks (SharpDevelop for example) is a disservice to GNU/Linux, based on Microsoft’s own documents
[PDF]. A reader of ours is concerned about the effects Mono has on Ubuntu for example. Yesterday he wrote to us:
Bradley Kuhn had an interesting discussion of desktops.
I like the effort that Canonical has made with raising the popularity of Debian-based distros. I abhor the fact that it and related services, like Ubuntu One, are starting to be used as a vehicle to spread Microsoft products. With the strong integtration of services, like Ubuntu One mentioned there, into the desktop for Lucid Lynx, there are some real conflicts.
No one and no company can be promoting Microsoft products without knowing the one single possible outcome. Ubuntu has spent a lot of time creating a good brand. It is a shame for a bait-and-switch type scam just as things are getting good. Quality suffers as much from Microsoft products as other areas do.
Obviously the Mono problem is at the middle of all that, even though it itself is only the symptom of some staffing problems. If the staffing problems are not cleared up, it has bad repercussions for all of Free Software operating systems, especially upstream in Debian.
Another one of the lower-profile things that Ubuntu hurts with is that it is constantly steering those who don’t know better into proprietary formats, drivers and codecs. There used to be proper warnings about what users were losing if they installed proprietary extras. There used to be a clear distinction between ‘main’ and ‘restricted’ I have to point out that the things Bradley wrote about and the things mentioned above were in place and made Ubuntu as popular as it is today.