Free software advocates support options to .Net

The Free Software Foundation announced Monday it will support two new free software alternatives to Microsoft Corp.'s .Net platform, called the Mono and DotGNU projects.

While Mono and DotGNU will offer different components to .Net, they will be complementary, the Free Software Foundation said in a statement.

Open source software maker Ximian Inc. is heading up the development of the Mono project, which is aiming to be a GNU/Linux-based version of the Microsoft .Net development platform, and will include such .Net compliant components as a C# compiler, a Common Language Runtime just-in-time compiler and a full suite of class libraries, the Free Software Foundation said.

Any .Net applications that are developed on the Mono software could be run on Windows or any Mono-supported platform, including GNU/Linux and Unix, the Free Software Foundation said.

As for DotGNU, the project will be led by David Sugar, the chief technology officer of and it will seek to develop free software for enabling decentralized services and authentication, the Free Software Foundation said.

Microsoft is known for its criticism of the open source movement, especially the GNU General Public License (GPL). But at the same time, the company has been publishing source code under that license for one of its own products -- Interix -- for the past two years.

Microsoft's Interix is used by customers to port Unix applications to its Windows operating systems and includes a software compiler called the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), a product first developed by Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman that is covered by the GPL. A compiler is a piece of software that allows code written in a programming language to be turned into a format that a processor or operating system understands.

The GCC is free software, in that the terms of the program's licensing agreement are free. The software can be purchased or distributed openly without cost. The compiler is released under the GPL, a widely-used licensing scheme in the open source, free software and Linux movements, in which the source code to the program is made freely available to its users, so they can inspect or change it.

Last month, the Free Software Foundation released version 3.0 of the GCC, adding support for Java and Intel Corp.'s IA-64 processor, allowing the code generated by the compiler to run faster and on a broader range of chips, the Free Software Foundation said.

More information on the Mono project can be found at while more information on DotGNU can be found at

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laura Rohde

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?