Mainsoft has made it possible for Linux developers to use Microsoft's Visual Studio software to create Web applications for Linux.
Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, or Grasshopper, is a free .NET plug-in developed following a two-year collaboration with the Mono development community. Mono is an open source alternative to Microsoft's .NET platform. Mainsoft's Visual MainWin enterprise product suite also exposes Visual Studio to developers that use FormScape, Infogate Online and IBM Rational.
Grasshopper is intended for individual developers or small groups of developers to create, debug and deploy Web applications for any Java-enabled platform including Windows and Linux. Developers may program with either the C# or Visual Basic .NET programming languages.
"The announcement is par the course for Mainsoft, which has extended Windows utilities to Unix systems for many years. In the 1990s, Microsoft licensed Windows source code to Mainsoft, which offers tools that help developers get their Windows software running on Unix, including Linux," said Senior Jupiter Analyst Joe Wilcox.
As first reported by BetaNews, a leak of the Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 source code containing 30,915 files traced back to Mainsoft in February 2004 after a Linux-based computer was compromised by an unknown group or individual.
"The new tool could benefit Microsoft, which is aggressively courting developers with Visual Studio .NET. I'm sure Microsoft would be satisfied to get any and all developers using its tools, regardless of application platform. The larger question: Would these Linux products support .NET Framework?" said Wilcox.
"Jupiter Research surveys show significantly lower .NET and .NET Framework among heterogeneous businesses or those exclusively running Unix than Windows shops. Mainsoft's success could help encourage greater .NET and .NET Framework adoption among mixed or non-Windows shops."