Thursday, 25 March 2010 20:28

Microsoft has shot .NET ecosystem in foot: De Icaza

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Microsoft has shot the .NET ecosystem in the foot because of the constant threat of patent infringement that it has cast on the system, Novell vice-president and Microsoft MVP, Miguel de Icaza, is quoted as telling the website, Software Development Times, recently.

Strangely, however, the article, headlined "Does Windows cost Microsoft opportunities", which contains these quotes, written by one of SD Times senior editors, David Worthington, has disappeared off the site. It shows up in a search but only yields a 404 when one clicks on the link that comes up in the search.

The disappearance of this article was first spotted by Jason, who runs the the-source.com website.

The article is, however, still available in Google's cache.

Worthington says De Icaza told the publication that .NET's focus on Windows had come at the expense of opportunities for Microsoft, and that its desire to guard its intellectual property was an impediment on the platform.

The Novell vice-president was quoted as saying: "Unlike the Java world that is blossoming with dozens of vibrant Java Virtual Machine implementations, the .NET world has suffered by this meme spread by [Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer] that they would come after people that do not license patents from them."


Mono is a project begun by De Icaza, a co-founder of the GNOME desktop project, in August 2001. It aims to create a free implementation of Microsoft's .NET development environment.

De Icaza told SD Times that the fact Mono was the sole implementation of the common language infrastructure was testament to the legal uncertainty surrounding some aspects of .NET due to the Redmond-based company's statements about open source software.

He also claimed that Facebook, Google, Ruby on Rails and Wikipedia could have been built using .NET.

"All of those are failed opportunities. Even if the cross-language story was great, the Web integration fantastic, the architecture was the right one to fit whatever flavor of a platform you wanted, people flocked elsewhere," he was quoted as saying.

Some parts of .NET have been submitted to ECMA and are said to be available on a royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory licence from Microsoft but De Icaza claimed this submission had remained at a "core level."

"It never went into other areas like server APIs, GUI APIs, or even updating some of the core to include LINQ, the DLR and many others," he was quoted as saying. 

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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