While the world has been heralding the release of Visual Studio.NET 2005, another project on the back-burner has been bubbling along. The Mono Project is dedicated to bringing the CLR to other platforms (most notably Linux) and has just released version 18.104.22.168.
The project is backed by Novell, in addition to a host of open-source developers who freely contribute their time and code to the project. And the list of applications that use Mono is growing, as shown here in a list compiled by the web site OS News. There are all sorts of applications leveraging Mono, from end-user and "hobby" applications to handy utilities and graphics programs.
What is definitely missing from the list are the "enterprise-class" applications, for CRM, ERP, etc. Part of the problem is the general acceptance of running .NET on Linux, combined with the fact that most commercial vendors probably aren't willing to take a punt on Mono just yet.
There is also the gap between "Windows" and "Linux" developers Ã¢â¬"- it is rare to find a hard-core .NET developer who is interested in Linux, likewise a Linux fan probably wouldn't invest the time to learn .NET (unless they had to!)
What we really need to get the Mono project off of the back-burner is more involvement from the larger software vendors and the developer community as a whole. Linux is a low-cost platform and Mono has made it easier to port applications across, so why not give it a go?