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'Exploratory' work with Ximian

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

The next planned release of Borland Software Corp's Kylix cross-platform development suite could bring Microsoft-style web services to Linux, helping consolidate the product's early market lead,

writes Gavin Clarke.

Scotts Valley, California-based Borland is investigating use of Ximian Inc's Project Mono in Kylix, as a possible means for Windows developers to move .NET applications to Linux. Mono is an open-source implementation of .NET libraries and other technologies developed by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp.

Borland stressed its work is at an exploratory stage, but told ComputerWire Mono potentially provides a set of components and frameworks that Windows developers can easily map to.

The rapid application development (RAD) specialist stands to become the first mainstream ISV to adopt Mono. During its 15-month lifespan, Mono has been a work in progress with the KDE Project recently expressing the first real-world interest in Mono. KDE is a community project building an open source desktop environment.

Should it adopt Boston, Massachusetts-based Ximian's Mono, Borland could potentially extend its early lead in Linux development. An Evans Data study last year showed the innovative Kylix is a popular choice among Linux developers, who are used to command line tools.

A key component of Kylix's success was believed to be Windows programmers experimenting in Linux. Kylix allows Delphi and C++ programmers to compile code to either Windows or Linux.

Borland senior vice president and chief strategy office Ted Shelton said Linux is crossing the chasm from early adoption, as more tools become available. Those expressing interest include customers running traditional Windows clients now investigating thin and open source clients in areas such as point of sale and telemarketing systems.

Separately, Borland yesterday introduced version 7.0 of its embedded database InterBase. Features include multiprocessor support, connection monitoring to help improve productivity of developers and Type 4 JDBC driver to ease deployment for application administrators.

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