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According to Novell, Mono provides users with a set of Windows programming interfaces such as ASP.net, ADO.net and the .net Framework 1.1.
Miguel de Icaza, Novell vice-president of development and founder of the Mono project, said, "Even as Linux grows on enterprise desktops, developing applications for the Linux desktop has been challenging because existing tools were extremely technical and complex."
With Mono, users can potentially move their Windows code without modification to Linux, according to Novell. It supports C# and Visual Basic, languages which are commonly used to develop applications within Microsoft's Visual Studio .net programming environment.
It allows developers to write rich-client, web services and server-side applications which can then be deployed on Linux, Solaris, MacOS X, Windows NT/XP and various Unix systems.
Mono 1.0 is available to download from the Mono project developer community website. It includes a just-in-time complier and virtual machine for running applications based on Mono.