ASP.NET AJAX makes its way to Linux via Java

A newly released update to Mainsoft's Java EE software product promises to let programmers use Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX Web application framework on Java-supported platforms outside of Microsoft Windows, including Linux and Mac OS X.

Mainsoft's original claim to fame is its technology that allows programmers to run .NET code on the Java platform. The company reportedly invested $14 million in research to unchain Microsoft's approach to AJAX from .NET and Windows, letting it become a true full-fledged, cross platform that can be used with any Java Virtual Machine.

"Version 2.2 incorporates numerous performance enhancements developed over the past five years to ensure ported applications perform and scale as well on the Java VM as the original application performs on .NET," Mainsoft Vice President of technology Eyal Eliahu Alaluf said in a statement this morning. "Today, any developer who can build a well-structured .NET application, and is knowledgeable about how the Java VM works, can deliver equivalent performance and scalability on Java and .NET."

Mainsoft for Java EE 2.2 allows developers to port .NET-based AJAX Web applications to IBM WebSphere and Apache Tomcat. Programmers don't need to be completely proficient in JavaScript, but must have basic understanding of the Java VM, Mainsoft warns.

If that name "Mainsoft" sounds familiar, it could be for good reasons: It worked closely with Novell on its Mono open source project, which Novell originally created to offer an open source use so .NET software can run on Linux, Unix, Mac OS X along with Windows. Developers and Linux vendors increasingly want to use Microsoft software development tools in open source environments, and not surprisingly have been forced to port technologies over with very little assistance from Microsoft.

But there's another reason, and it may have more to do with notoriety than fame: Back in February 2004, a serious leak of nearly 31,000 original source code files for Windows 2000 SP1 was traced back to Mainsoft, which had a valid license to use the code though was unable to protect it on its own systems at the time.

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