Ximian-Led Mono Project Selects New Flexible Licensing Model In Move Lauded By Industry Leaders Intel And HP

At Six Month Mark, Project Making Major Strides Toward Completion of Linux, UNIX Version of .NET Development Platform

Boston, Mass., January 28, 2002: Ximian, Inc., the leading open source desktop company, today announced a change in licensing by the Mono Project. With this change, the class libraries produced by Mono, an open source community initiative to deliver a Linux and UNIX compatible version of the Microsoft .NET development framework, will be released under the X11 software license, rather than the GNU General Public License (GPL). Under the open source X11 license, the increasing ranks of corporate contributors to the project can subsequently build Mono-based products without the constraint of publishing final source code. This approach, supported by Intel Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company and the Mono Project community, will have the effect of expanding the pool of potential contributors to the project, further speeding its already impressive progress.

The Mono Project, initiated by Ximian last July, is a community initiative to develop an open source version of the Microsoft .NET development platform. Incorporating key .NET compliant components, including a C# (pronounced C-sharp) compiler, a Common Language Runtime just-in-time compiler, a precise garbage collection (GC) system based on the Intel® Open Runtime Platform (ORP) and a full suite of class libraries, the Mono Project will enable developers to create .NET applications and run them on Windows® or any Mono-supported platform, including Linux and UNIX. The license change relates to past and future development on the Mono class libraries, and does not affect the C# compiler and Common Language Runtime, which will continue to be licensed under the GPL and LGPL (Lesser General Public License) respectively. (For more background on the Mono Project, visit the Mono web site at www.go-mono.com. Miguel de Icaza, Ximian co-founder, CTO and initiator of the Mono Project, will be presenting an update at LinuxWorld Expo in New York on Thursday, January 31 at 2:45 p.m. in Room 1E12.)

Increasing Momentum

The announcement of the change to the X11 license for the Mono class libraries will serve to accelerate developer support for a project already making great progress toward delivery during the second half of this year. Earlier this month, for example, the C# compiler became "self-hosting," allowing it to compile itself on non-Windows platforms such as Linux. The run-time (JIT) engine is also nearing completion. In addition, over 50 developers are regularly contributing to the Mono Project, and many of them are Windows developers previously not involved with the open source community. Substantial progress is also being made on porting the of of thousands of .NET class libraries to the Mono platform.

"We believe the move to the X11 license for the class libraries will benefit Mono by encouraging greater corporate-sponsored participation," said Miguel de Icaza, CTO and co-founder of Ximian. "Contributors from leading hardware and software companies need the flexibility to customize and enhance the class libraries for their own unique embedded and OEM development. The X11 license ensures that the Mono project will attract a growing pool of talented developers, while enabling their companies to control and protect their Mono-based products and services."

The MIT X11 license is certified by the open source initiative (OSI). It grants permission, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of the software and associated documentation files to use that software for other purposes, including copying, modifying, merging, publishing, distributing, sublicensing, and/or copies selling of copies the software. By contrast, under the GPL, any or changesThe Mono Project, along with similar projects like Intel alterations to the software must be submitted to a public forum, a barrier to companies pursuing embedded software development or the provision of software to OEM partners.

Support from Industry Leaders

While Ximian has spearheaded Mono, the project has drawn increasing contributions and support from developers at Intel, Hewlett-Packard and other companies actively involved in .NET and Web services development.

"We are very excited to see Ximian and open source developers implementing the ECMA Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) standard, Colin Evans, director of distributed systems, Intel Labs. The Mono Project, along with similar projects like Intel's own Open CLI Library and ORP, reflects industry commitment to internationally recognized and open programming standards. The ECMA standards and open implementations like Mono will enable a broad base of research and development that should accelerate innovation."

"HP supports all implementations of the ECMA standard and believes that the Mono Project will ultimately benefit our customers and the computing world as a whole," said Martin Fink, general manager, HP Linux Systems Operations. "HP has been a strong driver around the standard and supports the license change as a practical move which will enable developers to leverage community efforts and offer companies greater flexibility and competitive differentiation when creating new products."

About Ximian, Inc.

Ximian is the established leader in providing open source desktop technology, applications, support and services for the Linux and UNIX marketplaces. Ximian products, in use by over 800,000 people worldwide, are providing the ease of use, productivity and interoperability needed to propel the adoption of the Linux desktop in corporate computing environments. Its Ximian Desktop software starts with Ximian GNOME, a productized end-user desktop based on the GNOME project, to provide a complete graphical desktop environment and productivity application suite for Linux and UNIX systems. Ximian Red Carpet and Ximian Evolution™ deliver software and personal information management solutions for both end users and corporate customers. Comprised of many of the original architects of the GNOME system, Ximian is a founding member of the GNOME Foundation and sits on the advisory board. The company has secured funding from leading venture firms Charles River Ventures and Battery Ventures and can be reached at www.ximian.com.