The editorial, over at ZDNet, explains the impact .NET will have on Linux, analyzes the Ximian’s Mono initiative and how all this will also have an impact on the open source and Free software in general.
Editorial: Will Microsoft Mono-polize open source?
2001-08-25 Editorial 3 Comments
It seems that the technology to compete with .NET is found in the GNU compiler GCC. It has an IDL that gets converted to ASM for each supported platform. That is a feature of .NET. Work just needs to be done a cross-language libraries.
First off, .NET’s JIT compiler converts IDL to native code at runtime, not at compile time. .NET even has different levels of this for different platforms and/or execution scenarios (a mobile JIT compiler that can purge compiled code in low memory circumstances, for example).
Secondly, there’s a lot more to .NET than just IDL. Just look at the common type system… now you can have real interoperability between different languages, not like “pick any color as long as it’s black” Java. Then you’ve got attributes, reflection, delegates, a real working “everything is an object” model… .NET is a significant leap forward for development.
There’s more to Mono than C#… the C# standardization seems to distract people from the fact that Microsoft, HP and Intel are also standardizing the underlying Common Language Infrastructure (CLI). Don’t get me wrong, I think C# is a great language, but the real boon lies in the CLI.
If Mono can succeed, we will have a real, honest-to-goodness development environment based on open standards where code CAN move between platforms. This is the hype that Sun made over Java but never delivered on.
And not only would you be able to easily target a variety of platforms, but you could use your favorite language to do so. Imagine using Visual Studio to develop Linux applications. Or moving that application from your Mac to your Windows box and running it unmodified. The CLI and projects like Mono can make that a reality.
1) If .NET is available for both Linux and Windows Microsoft will target Linux as a competitor.
2) Microsoft acquires technology and then destroys competitors through distribution chain.
3) The Linux distribution chain is too fragmented and underfunded to resist direct attack.
Example: GET YOUR FREE LINUX DOWNLOAD FROM MICROSOFT TODAY. INCLUDES ALL (closed source) .NET APPLICATIONS IN THE LINUX SUPPORT PACK, A $7,000.00 VALUE FROM RED HAT. (CUSTOMER MUST AGREE TO THE NETPACK EULA FOR THESE APPLICATIONS).
TADA- end of competitor.
I hope I am wrong, but examine the technology case studies:
3) Word Processors
6) OS/2 and NT