Major Mono Milestone Significantly Eases Cross-platform Development

The Mono project announced today that it has developed a Visual Basic compiler that will enable software developers who use Microsoft* Visual Basic to run their applications across multiple platforms without any modifications to the code. The new Mono Visual Basic compiler allows developers to continue to code in their preferred Visual Basic/Visual Studio environment and compile and run that same code base on a variety of operating systems and architectures, including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. As a result, developers and customers gain a powerful, flexible new tool to maximize the value of custom-developed software in their organizations.

Visual Basic is one of the world's most commonly used programming languages. According to Forrester Research, 37 percent of enterprises use Microsoft Visual Basic.NET for development and maintenance of their in-house applications. And for .NET users, 59 percent use Visual Basic.NET as their only programming language. (“Trends 2006: Language and Platform Adoption”, Forrester Research, Inc., March 2006).

Visual Basic allows developers to create software applications optimized for the Windows platform. A drawback of Visual Basic is that these custom applications have required major modifications to run on any platform besides Windows. With the new compiler from the Mono project, those applications are now free to run on any platform. As a proof point of this new platform independence, the new compiler is self- hosting, which means that it is written in Visual Basic itself.

From its inception, the Mono project has focused on creating a development framework that allows software to run across all the leading server and client platforms in today's market. The delivery of the Visual Basic compiler is a key step forward in this process. Now, developers do not need any Linux expertise to create applications that will run easily on Linux.

"The ability to write software that runs easily across multiple platforms has long been a holy grail for developers," said Miguel de Icaza, vice president of developer platforms at Novell and founder of the Mono project. "The Mono Visual Basic compiler is a milestone step forward in this direction. Using the software skills they already know, developers can now reach a much broader audience, creating applications that run without modification on all the major operating system platforms."

The Mono Visual Studio compiler is available today as part of the current Mono build. Downloads and more information on Mono are available at http://www.mono-project.com/Main_Page .

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