Wednesday, January 11, 2006

[geek] Windows apps on Red Hat Linux?

Here's some interesting (and potentially? hopefully? good) software news: the next release of Fedora (Core 5) will include Mono, an open-source implementation of Microsoft's .NET programming platform. In theory, Mono means that .NET applications that were once limited to Windows platforms should only require minor changes [*] in order to get 'write-once, run anywhere' applications by substituting Windows-specific UI elements with GNOME UI elements. And as of today, there's a flavor of Mono out there for most types of *NIX, including Mac OS X... This is potentially big news for my employer - because we do a fair chunk of business for MSFT, we're MSFT-centric: we use .NET, Visual C++ 6.0, MS SQL Server, SharePoint, and so on. The product I'm working on, however, is going to be pitched to government agencies (foreign and domestic), non-governmental organizations, and international aid agencies. Our guess is that many of these entities would prefer an implementation that can run on open-source platforms, and anything that makes that transition easier is a Good Thing as far as I'm concerned. We'll see. All I know is that I now have Red Hat's news page bookmarked. [*] "minor changes" - a phrase fraught with peril, to be sure; best understood in the context of varying values of 'minor'.

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