Mono Project Leader Launches New Mono-Focused Company

Miguel de Icaza, the original leader of the Mono Project, an open source implementation of the .NET Framework based on C# and the Common Language Runtime (CLR), has launched a new startup company called Xamarin.

The new company will focus on Mono-based products, de Icaza disclosed yesterday in his blog.

"We have been trying to spin Mono off from Novell for more than a year now," de Icaza wrote." Everyone agreed that Mono would have a brighter future as an independent company, so a plan was prepared last year."

De Icaza's announcement comes on the heels of news that Attachmate Corporation, which acquired Novell in April, laid off members of the Mono team.

"These layoffs included all the MonoTouch and MonoDroid engineers and other key Mono developers," de Icaza said. "Although Attachmate allowed us to go home that day, we opted to provide technical support to our users until our last day at Novell, which was Friday last week."

Attachmate, a maker of terminal emulation software, legacy modernization systems, managed file transfer apps and enterprise fraud management solutions, announced plans to operate Novell's assets as two separately branded business units: SUSE, which includes the SUSE distribution of the Linux operating system, and Novell, which comprises the rest of the company's assets. The SUSE group will be headquartered in Provo, Utah, and the Novell unit will be based in Germany. Attachmate is headquartered in Houston, Texas.  

Novell has been the main commercial supporter of Mono since the company acquired Ximian, a company founded by de Icaza and Nat Friedman. De Icaza became a vice president of Novell's Developer Platform group.

The list of projects de Icaza's new company will be pursuing includes a new commercial .NET offering for iOS; a new commercial .NET offering for Android; continued contributions to the Mono project and the open source implementation of Silverlight known as Moonlight; and exploration of " Moonlight opportunities" in the mobile space and the Mac appstore.

"We believe strongly in splitting the presentation layer from the business logic in your application and supporting both your backend needs with C# on the server, the client or mobile devices and giving you the tools to use .NET languages in every desktop and mobile client," de Icaza wrote.

De Icaza says his new company will focus first on delivering the iPhone stack, then the Android stack, and then work on porting Moonlight to both platforms. He says the new versions of .NET for the iPhone and Android, which are commercial versions built on the Mono core, will be source compatible with MonoTouch and Mono for Android.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].