Microsoft is allowing open source developers to create versions of the .net framework and C# programming language without risking a patent dispute.
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The company's Community Promise (CP), which allows developers to use Microsoft application programming interfaces and specifications, now explicitly covers open source implementations.
But the CP only covers full implementations of MS specifications, Microsoft said.
The Mono project, supported by Novell is lilely to be one of the big beneficiaries. Mono is an open source, UNIX version of the Microsoft .nET development platform. IMono allows UNIX developers to build and deploy cross-platform .net Applications.