Thursday, 27 September 2012

Microsoft should buy Mono

Microsoft should think seriously about buying and embracing the Mono project - a cross-platform .NET runtime - as part of their mobile phone domination strategy. It just makes sense. They already have developers that can use their existing .NET skills to write apps for Windows Phone 8, and on Mono, that code can also run on Android and iOS, which should attract more of them. The same could, technically, be said of focusing on HTML5 and JavaScript, but that brings up my second point. Mono on mobile will perform much better than HTML5 and JavaScript. Anyone who has used Facebook's mobile apps (before the recent iOS update) knows what a big HTML5 app feels like. It feels slow. Very painfully, excruciatingly slow.

Right now, Microsoft's strategy seems to be modelled after Apple's "our way or the highway" approach, but Apple gets away with that because people like Apple. Whatever the reason, that's the truth. When Microsoft tries to take that same line, they get active hostility. The most Apple gets is a resigned sigh, if that. It's not fair, it's just the truth.

So, to recap, there's this platform that's much better to develop on, it already runs everywhere, it already has developers and tools, and it out-performs the only other option to make that claim. The only thing standing in the way is Microsoft, and when you are the one standing in the way of your own success, you should probably re-evaluate your strategy.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - It might not count as Microsoft's success if they just buy it.
PPS - But that's probably not a distinction they can afford to make.


@JohnMDorman said...

This. This, so hard.

Microsoft needs to refocus into frameworks. That is their core competency. DOS and Windows were really no more than frameworks for software. Now that computing has become diversified across many different devices types and distinct operating systems, trying to reclaim that market is not feasible. Extending .NET to all platforms is actually the same idea they have behind their WCF model.

The OS should become just another piece of software. A wrapper for other software. Clothes instead of the skin. Let .NET function as the organs.

John said...

Unfortunately, Microsoft wants people to buy Windows, and they see the cross-platform Mono as a way for people to avoid Windows, and therefore they want Mono to die, and probably take their own .NET with it, just so that people forget this whole "cross-platform" thing.