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well, the problem is, that Microsoft has the reputation, that they change technologies very fast and very often. But maybe you all are right, and this will change with .NET.
On the other hand: We don't know, how the .NET development will continue in the future. We don't know, if there will be any changes, that make .NET more useful for windows than for linux, or if Microsoft will stop the standardization of .NET and go their own way. So novell is really brave to start and support such a development.
If Novell has any agreements with Microsoft about this, they should tell it to the public. So a lot of doubt could be taken away.
And maybe then hopefully a lot of developers will take a look at mono (not .NET only), because in my opinion it currently is one of the best ways to develop software for the linux desktop.
But first we need more stable APIs for things like dbus and for gnome (waiting for the results of the ridley project), so that it is also interesting for bigger companies to work for the linux desktop, based on mono.
And if more developers are interested in developing applications for linux with mono, we will maybe have more books about the details I wrote before