"Last week I had the good fortune to chat with him for a bit about MonoTools, the new Mono development package for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Visual Studio -- and about why Mono attracts such bitterness from open source purists.
"The more I hear about Mono, and the way Miguel talks about it, the more it takes shape as a way to allow .NET programmers to become that much more platform-agnostic. Not just Linux and Windows but now the iPhone, too, and with many other possible platforms in the offing that Microsoft themselves would never make a runtime environment for.
"The first thing I wanted to clear up: what Novell's relationship to the Mono project is, specifically. "We [Novell] are the primary sponsor of the project," Miguel explained. "A lot of companies do contribute to Mono, in the direction most important to them. Novell, however, does own the copyright to the Mono VM, which is a key piece of it. Today we license it very liberally, but since we're the copyright holders we also offer it in a proprietary way for certain uses. We're able to commercialize some parts of Mono that are not available to contributors - for instance, we license it to to Unity for Wii / XBOX, for developers writing for the iPhone (there's some 300 apps on the iPhone with Mono), and so on. So that gives us some benefits, but we're also the major contributor."
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