Xamarin Strikes Mono Deal With SUSE

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Xamarin has taken over Mono and will launch a .NET-based mobile development platform

Xamarin, the company founded to deliver products based on Mono, has announced the immediate availability of MonoTouch and Mono for Android from the Xamarin web store.

Through an agreement with SUSE, a business unit of The Attachmate Group — which acquired former Mono owner Novell in April 2011 — Xamarin has a broad, perpetual license to all intellectual property covering Mono, MonoTouch, Mono for Android and Mono Tools for Visual Studio.

Xamarin will also provide technical support to SUSE customers using Mono-based products and assume stewardship of the Mono open-source project, company officials said.

Growth in app development

Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio, as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for popular mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

“The confluence of transformations taking place today in both front-end client devices and back-end cloud services is expected to lead to healthy growth in application-development technologies,” Al Hilwa, research director for Application Development Software at IDC, said in a statement. “Application-development tools and runtimes that support multiple mobile platforms and tap into sizeable existing developer ecosystems are expected to lead this growth.”

“Our mission is to make it fast, easy and fun to build great mobile apps, whether for individual consumers or for enterprises,” said Nat Friedman, founder and CEO of Xamarin, in a statement. “Since the introduction of MonoTouch in 2009, developers have experienced how Mono can streamline mobile-application development. Xamarin will continue to innovate to deliver incredible experiences to iOS and Android developers.”

Xamarin engineers are already at work on stability improvements and performance optimizations, and maintenance updates will be released to customers imminently. Additionally, a number of major improvements for MonoTouch and Mono for Android, including support for iOS 5, Xcode 4 and Android Honeycomb, will be released in the coming months, the company said.

MonoTouch, Mono for Android and Mono Tools for Visual Studio customers will receive support and updates directly from Xamarin for the remainder of their subscription period. Xamarin also introduced a priority support option for mobile products. Customers who upgrade to MonoTouch Enterprise Priority and Mono for Android Enterprise Priority will receive access to the priority support queue and a guaranteed response time.

SUSE support to continue

Xamarin will also assume stewardship of the Mono, MonoDevelop and Moonlight open-source projects. In addition, the agreement with SUSE ensures current and future SUSE — formerly Novell — customers hosting applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Mono Extension application server will continue to receive full commercial support for their platform from SUSE, backed by Xamarin, the company said.

“We are very pleased to enter into this agreement with Xamarin because our customers deserve nothing less than the brightest team of experts to provide ongoing maintenance and support for our commercial Mono products,” Nils Brauckmann, president and general manager of SUSE, said in a statement.

“This partnership is a triple win — a win for SUSE, a win for Xamarin, but most importantly, a win for our customers, users and community,” Brauckmann added. “Our partnership ensures SUSE customers continue to get the best support possible, enables the bright team at Xamarin to achieve success in their promising new venture, and provides continuity of stewardship for the Mono open-source community project in the very capable hands of its most passionate evangelists.”

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