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.Net On Android Is Safe, Says Microsoft 377

An anonymous reader writes "With Oracle suing Google over 'unofficial' support for Java in Android, Microsoft has come out and said it has no intention of taking action against the Mono implementation of C# on the Linux-based mobile OS. That's good news for Novell, which is in the final stages of preparing MonoDroid for release. Miguel de Icaza is not concerned about legal challenges by Microsoft over .Net implementations, and even recommends that Google switch from using Java. However, Microsoft's Community Promise has been criticized by the Free Software Foundation for not going far enough to protect open source implementations from patent litigation, which is at the heart of the Oracle-Google case."
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.Net On Android Is Safe, Says Microsoft

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  • Re:"Safe" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mongoose Disciple ( 722373 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:02PM (#33396094)

    even microsoft doesn't like .net and is moving away from it. why would anyone use something that is about to be deprecated?

    Considering a major release of the .NET framework happened in April, I'm going to go ahead and call you misinformed or a huge troll.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:3, Informative)

    by AndrewNeo ( 979708 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:02PM (#33396102) Homepage

    What are they moving to, exactly..? I get the feeling you're misreading how Microsoft is moving way from dynamic .NET languages (IronPython, IronRuby) which are a rather separate part of the framework.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:4, Informative)

    by gparent ( 1242548 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:03PM (#33396114)
    They don't like .NET yet they keep pumping versions after versions of the .NET Framework, C# and Silverlight. Citation needed? I'm not understanding you well.
  • Re:"Safe" (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:08PM (#33396196)

    They aren't deprecating anything but they have ceased development on a few dynamic .NET languages like IronRuby.

  • by molo ( 94384 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:13PM (#33396290) Journal

    From the FAQ [monodroid.net]:

    How much will MonoDroid Cost?

    We have not yet announced the pricing for MonoDroid, but you should anticipate that the price will be in the same range as MonoTouch ($400 USD for individual users, and $1,000 for enterprise users).

    How is MonoDroid licensed?

    MonoDroid is a commercial/proprietary offering that is built on top of the open source Mono project and is licensed on a per-developer basis.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:14PM (#33396302)

    Yes. poetmatt is lying.

  • by duranaki ( 776224 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:14PM (#33396308)
    It half sits on top of Dalvik and half on top of their own adaptation layer for native linux. But yes, it's at least half tainted. :)
  • Re:Thank you. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:16PM (#33396342)

    American conservatives aren't against immigration. They are against *illegal* immigration. I don't see how you can possibly be for it or argue that it's in any way bad to be against it. At most you can try to pass legislation for what constitutes legal immigration.

  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:29PM (#33396518)

    Java: Microsoft did not develop .Net, until Sun sued them for license issues, effectively stopping them developing on Java. ... and others.

    The thing is is that Sun had to sue MS to stop the embrace and extend MS was doing.

  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:34PM (#33396574) Homepage

    Below are the en.swpat.org analyses. Two of the biggest things in Java's favour are that they have distributed OpenJDK under GPLv2, with the implied patent grant that gives, and Oracle is a member of OIN and there are thus a bunch of GCC and Classpath packages they've promised not to use their patents against.

    swpat.org is a publicly editable wiki, help welcome.

  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:5, Informative)

    by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#33396640)

    To answer your counter-points specifically....

    The back stab I was referring to for OS/2 wasn't Windows NT but rather Windows 95. As per the documentation put forward by IBM in the USA Vs Microsoft case ... and Microsoft eventually settled with IBM for the damage they caused them:

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2005070114163052 [groklaw.net]

    Fortunately IBM, of course, were large enough to survive that.

    Microsoft actually contracted with Spyglass to provide a royalty form Internet Explorer revenue in order to use Mosaic as a base... Microsoft then gave the product away free and therefore skipped out on said royalties. They eventually had to pay Spyglass a settlement for this action but not before sufficient damage was done and teh company did not survive - being bought out by OpenTV in 2000.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyglass,_Inc [wikipedia.org].

    With Java Microsoft contracted with Sun to write their own Java VM for the Windows platform. They then added interfaces to the java.* namespace and changed behaviour in this namespace. As a consequence things written for Sun's Java would not run properly due to changes in what was expected to be standard and things written for Microsoft's Java VM were not likely to run in Sun's one. The issue came to a head since Microsoft used the Java name and logos... Note that Microsoft would have been okay if they had used their own microsoft.* or similar namespace... but then that would have made Sun's VM the preferred write once run anywhere target. Sun survived this and the result was Windows XP SP1a and the removal of the MS Java VM. Microsoft were free to continue to develop MS Java VM if they actually stuck to the specs... instead they produced .Net and C#.

    I'll let you google the references for that one yourself ;)

    It may be hip to hit on Microsoft on Slashdot... however there are occasions they deserve it (just as there are occasions they do not). I put it to you that the highlights I've picked from the past 10-15 years are points against them... and are far from an exhaustive list.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:44PM (#33396698)

    It is ISO/IEC 23270 (http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=36768). That means it is not something under MS's control and just subject to their promises. Now that's not all of .NET, that is different, but comparing C# to Java and ignoring the face that C# is an open standard, like C++ and Java is not is a bit disingenuous.

  • by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:47PM (#33396742)

    Oh come on Florian!

    Microsoft's strategic interests are Windows and Office. Those two cash cows act as coverups for every other project they lose money on.

    Everything they do is focused on getting people onto those two items as a platform... from that follows Exchange, Sharepoint, IIS and their other server infrastructure offerings.

    I wish you would stop out spouting that nonsense about TurboHercules. IBM never attacked the open source project Hercules. Let's get that clear from the outset. They *do* have licensing requirements for Z/OS based on resources available to the system such as CPUs. They will not license their software to a virtualised platform.

    This is no different than Apple's position with MacOS X on their hardware and the licensing position they take.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:3, Informative)

    by smartr ( 1035324 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:49PM (#33396768)
    To be fair Android isn't using Java licensed under the GPL.
  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:50PM (#33396798)

    Not quite correct...

    the Sun Vs Microsoft case wasn't patent war but rather a contract and trademark dispute.

    Because Microsoft had a contract with Sun to create a certified VM and they broke the conditions plus they called it Java when it wasn't they got hit with the judicial hammer...

  • by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:51PM (#33396802)

    capable .NET is.

    Forget that it's riding on the most insecure OS on the planet. IF Microsoft, which KNOWS ALL the "undocumented" features of .NET, and it's hand picked partner Aventure, cannot build an app which is both stable and fast, then who can?

  • by fritsd ( 924429 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:53PM (#33396838) Journal

    Java: Microsoft did not develop .Net, until Sun sued them for license issues, effectively stopping them developing on Java. ... and others.

    This is what Microsoft tried to do to Sun to get rid of their Java: Embrace -- Extend -- Extinguish
    This is the sworn expert testimony in court in case Comes vs Microsoft of a mr. Ronald Alepin on 5 january 2007, about Microsoft's strategy in 1995: Groklaw transcript of Comes vs Microsoft document [groklaw.net] (page down a bit for the transcript).
    (please read the whole thing for yourself. this quote here on /. is too short to really inform).

    Q. Before I do this, though, sir, in relation to Microsoft's employment of Java and use of Java, when you testified about Microsoft's Java interface extensions --
    A. Yes.
    Q. -- do those interface extensions tie the applets or applications to the Windows operating system?
    A. They tie them. Another phrase is they bind the applications or they lock them into the Windows platform. That's correct.
    Q. Okay. Thank you, sir.

    It's long ago, but maybe it can still be illuminating to read if you care about Microsoft's plans with their .NET platform and interoperability e.g. with Mono (I personally don't use .NET so I don't care, but your comment "..until Sun sued them for license issues.." nagged me as only partially true :-).

  • by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @03:56PM (#33396894)

    Let's ignore the DR-DOS bit for a moment (there is a reason they lost the court case over that) and also ignore that MS-DOS was ripped form Q-DOS...

    You have the facts wrong on Internet Explorer. They licensed technology from Spyglass Inc for a small base fee plus a percentage of the royalties that would come from the revenue stream from IE. Then they gave IE away for free bundling it with the OS so that Spyglass got sweet F all compared to what was expected to be passed to them. There is a good reason Microsoft ended up settling with them later on when they were called on it... but not soon enough for Spyglass to survive as a company.

    Wordperfect and Lotus were both under fire from MS in the DOS days with the intention of hurting the competitor's product. You can read more details about these in the USA Vs Microsoft case and the Comes Vs Microsoft documents.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lokitoth ( 1069508 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:07PM (#33397042)

    I am a bit confused - what "any sort of work" are you doing that requires C++?

    I can understand that certain things are easier in C++ due to the ability to more easily manipulate memory sections directly, but situations which absolutely require this are few and far between.

    As well, .NET can invoke all parts of the Windows API via P/Invoke, as well as consume and surface COM interface implementations.

  • by JImbob0i0 ( 1202835 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:10PM (#33397066)

    Nice to see you refuted so thoroughly at the link you so kindly provided - thanks!

  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:3, Informative)

    by tayhimself ( 791184 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:11PM (#33397078)

    OS/2: Originally Microsoft developed Windows NT as OS/2 - a microkernel which was OS/2 on the front backward compatible with DOS and Windows, and switched to Windows, only after IBM started to show less and less interest in coding, and more interest in their process.

    Wikipedia disagrees and claims it was due to Windows 3.0's runaway success that MS felt bold enough to go on its own. My own recollection is in accordance with that.

    Java: Microsoft did not develop .Net, until Sun sued them for license issues, effectively stopping them developing on Java. ... and others.

    These license "issues" were embrace, extend extinguish by extending Java which was against the licensing agreemmt.

    A story is rarely single sided, but it's very hip to hit on MS on Slashdot...

    Judging by your 5 rating, it is very hip to defend MS on /. as well.

  • by rantomaniac ( 1876228 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:22PM (#33397242)

    Sadly, only C# 1.0 and 2.0 are open standards. All the goodies of C# 3.0 and 4.0 weren't included in any standards yet, and 3.0 is already 3 years old.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:25PM (#33397292)

    Except that Microsoft is *not* moving away from dynamic .NET languages. They just released a platform unifying and solidifying dynamic language support within the .NET Framework itself.

    This support is head and shoulders above anything else. Imagine that the platform and not the languages actually has services for doing dynamic member lookup with advanced caching and global optimizations. Making a platform which generalizes how different dynamic languages such as EcmaScript, Ruby, Python and C# look up members is no small feat.

    It means that the language implementations themselves shrink quite a lot.

    What we have on one hand is *one* disgruntled ex-Microsoft employee being cited on Microsofts plans for the future. On the other hand we have concrete and recent actions by Microsoft which suggests that they are very much investing in making .NET a dynamic multi-language platform.

    I have no doubt that working with implementing an "outside" language inside an organization like MS is an uphill battle. But I have real problems seeing this as a sign that MS is backing away from dynamic languages.

  • Re:"Safe" (Score:4, Informative)

    by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:30PM (#33397378)

    and with Windows 7, it appears (from what I've read) if you want do any sort of work, you still need to use C++.

    You read wrong. You can program against any API* using C#. Mind you, C# can also be used in "unmanaged" (they call it "unsafe") mode - where you have access to pointers, pointer arithmetic, direct memory allocation etc.

    All regular APIs are either COM or have already been wrapped or even re-implemented in .NET. .NET can easily interop with COM APIs.

    I believe that the only place where you would want to drop top C/C++ would be for device drivers.

  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:31PM (#33397384) Homepage

    It doesn't matter. If you promise people you won't sue over something, you can't later change your mind and sue them. It's called promissory estoppel. If they tried, any competent judge would throw the case out before trial.

  • by RaymondKurzweil ( 1506023 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:35PM (#33397428) Journal

    DR-DOS wasn't a product that MS ripped off... It was a product that ripped off MS. MS-DOS launched in 1981. DR-DOS launched in 1989 and was version numbed to be the same as MS-DOS. They weren't breaking any laws or anything, but DR-DOS was designed to be their own DOS, compatible with MS-DOS.

    You're quite ignorant of some basic facts it seems, in ways I didn't know were possible. Regardless of launch dates of specific products with specific names and marketing release terms. The "DR" in DR-DOS comes from Digital Research, which is a company that was founded by a guy named Gary Kildall, who created something called CP/M. You may now want to dig a little bit into the technical history of MS-DOS (in the early 1980s) and relation to CP/M, the dealings of IBM with Microsoft and with Gary Kildall and the genesis of Digital Research.

    It's really quite disingenuous and dumb to imply that DR-DOS is just something that popped out of nowhere in 1989 to ripoff Microsoft, and MS-DOS was some incredible original creative work.

    Did DR-DOS "rip-off" Microsoft? Maybe. Was Gary Kildall a lily white and virgin pure victim as some like to say? Probably not. But the relationship is far more long, complex and incestuous than you seem to realize.

    Finally you should really read about the "AARD code" issue in the early 90s.

  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DMoylan ( 65079 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @04:48PM (#33397640)

    add sendo to your list
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/01/06/microsofts_masterplan_to_screw_phone/ [theregister.co.uk]

    partner with ms, get fecked oved.

  • Re:Et tu brute? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @08:09PM (#33399556) Homepage
  • Re:"Safe" (Score:4, Informative)

    by Timothy Brownawell ( 627747 ) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Friday August 27, 2010 @09:47PM (#33400102) Homepage Journal

    I can hand-edit a java file and when I reopen the IDE, it'll pick up the changes. Try that in a Microsoft environment, and you'd better have a project backup.

    Um, Visual Studio actually handles that just fine. So I think you're the one spouting off rubbish.

  • by redbeard55 ( 1002526 ) on Friday August 27, 2010 @10:10PM (#33400216)

    / "It was a short reference to the fact that it demonstrates the uselessness of those pledges. So it was on-topic. But responding in detail to more comments or questions on TurboHercules would have been off-topic, thus my link to LWN."

    More FUD, as has been discussed before IBM did not renege on their pledge, no amount of spin from you will change that. TurboHercules wanted IBM to opensource and/or provide licenses so that IBM's mainframe OS could run on TurboHercules platform to the benefit of TurboHercules. IBM did not wish to pursue this business venture with TurboHercules as it would be detrimental in several ways to IBM.

    IBM also pointed that it has invested "many billions of dollars developing its z-architecture" and holds "many intellectual property rights" (I hate that phrase, "intellectual property rights") and has litigated to defend their rights. It then identified a non-exhaustive list of patents related to this matter as requested by TurboHercules. They could have told them to piss-off, but they provided the requested information, and told them they (IBM) had concerns about TurboHercules going forward with their plan. IBM put them on notice regarding their IP concerns in a very businesslike way. Please explain how they should have proceed, if they did not intend give TurboHercules what TurboHercules wanted?

    It is pretty straight forward just read the letters and look at what IBM pledged and please stop FUDDING and spinning already. IBM pledged not to sue as related to 500 specific patents, so please show that ALL of the patients related to TurboHercules are within the 500 patents please, before you continue with this TurboHercules nonsense.

        Quote by redbeard55: "Another point to remember, all MS would have to do to get around their promise is to sell a .NET patent or two to another company. They would of course get protection from being sued but everyone else . . . soooo sorrrrrry."

              "Show me even one other patent pledge or promise, including Red Hat's patent policy, where that wouldn't be just the same thing. This isn't Microsoft-specific at all."

    True some risk exist with other companies but, remember a little discussion about the past actions of MS . . . I don't believe that RH ever claimed that Linux was a cancer or threatened to sue Linux users over 200+ patents. Did you just conveniently forget that?

    Also, name one other software company that can dominate the industry in desktop area like MS can and promote the use of specific software. There is none and MS has openly declared Linux a "cancer" you don't play nice with cancer do you? MS's past history show the lengths they are willing to go to kill or cripple competitors, even to the extent of breaking the law. MS still is an 800 pound gorilla in this area, so you had better be very, very, careful with your interaction with them and most of the time it is better to stay as far away as possible from the beast, if you are more that a flea. Really dealing with MS is way different than dealing with ANY other company including ORACLE/SUN.

            "The "workaround" you just described would presumably even work for the GPLv3."

    Uhmm did you forget paragraph 11 of the GPLv3? It may be possible but it would be a much trickier proposition, and would make for an interesting court case. The question would appear to be could the buyer revoke the original grant of non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license. If the new buyer wished to monetize the patent, he either didn't perform due diligence or the seller committed fraud. I don't think the end user would be in as near as much danger compared to my scenario.

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