Feeds

MS signs up for Windows-on-Linux API

MainWin deal for Internet Explorer on Unix - will Office on Linux follow?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Software developer Mainsoft has confirmed its MainWin Windows-to-Unix porting technology is being used by Microsoft. That said, its statement is pretty cautious about what Microsoft is actually porting, and for what versions of the OS.

So, Mainsoft states that Microsoft has signed for itself "the right to use MainWin to port Internet Explorer technologies" to Unix. Of the originally rumoured MS Office port, however, the release says nothing, merely noting cryptically Microsoft's right to use MainWin "potentially" with "other technologies" and "professional services".

The key point here, though, is that very mention of other technologies. According to Mainsoft, Microsoft has used MainWin with Internet Explorer already, bring the browser to Solaris and HP/UX back in 1997. Extending that is really no big deal and barely worth mentioning, but the provision in the new contract for .NET versions of Office is. The only snag is that Mainsoft clearly can't... well... mention it.

The plan to port Office to Unix - and, in particular, Linux - was first mooted a couple of days ago buy the WinInfo Web site.

Linux gets just one mention in Mainsoft's release - not in connection to Microsoft's latest contract, but the company does describe MainWin as a "Windows platform for Unix systems, including Linux". [our italics]

"MainWin includes the implementation of Win32 APIs and Windows-based services on Unix. Through strategic agreements with Microsoft, Mainsoft has access to Windows NT and Windows 2000-based source code. Mainsoft has incorporated several million lines of original Windows-based source code into MainWin. This ensures that applications developed with C, C++ and Dynamic HTML for Windows will run on UNIX as it does on Windows."

Clearly, then two softs - Main and Micro - are very close indeed, and it's highly plausible that if Microsoft is working on Office for Unix, it would do so in partnership with its chum.

As we said in our initial report on the Mainsoft story, "Michael Dell this week said the Linux desktop market now matched the Macintosh market in numbers. And Microsoft is volume company - that's how it likes to do business. But bear in mind that it's one thing to write applications for a closed rival hardware platform, and another thing altogether to write applications for other PC operating systems. That's what Redmond sees as its front lawn - and only Microsoft tanks can park there".

Being about to do Office for Linux, doesn't mean to say it'll happen. But the Mainsoft confirmation of Microsoft's use of its technology for IE, does make a move toward the Linux world more likely. ®

Related Story

Microsoft Linux apps rumours resurface

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?