The open-source community, through Linux software development company Ximian, has embarked on a development effort to bring Microsoft's .Net platform to Linux. Called the Mono Project, this effort encompasses creating a development environment that will allow applications developed for .Net to run on Linux-based as well as Windows-based systems. Mono originated out of a need for improved development tools for the GNOME community and for Ximian specifically, according to Miguel de Icaza, Ximian's chief technical officer.
The implications of Mono, however, are further reaching because the tools are based on the CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) and C# implementations that Microsoft submitted to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) standards body. If Mono can achieve the goal of creating a set of Linux development tools based on those standards, developers will be able to write .Net applications that can run on Linux, Windows, and possibly other non-Windows operating systems, such as Unix.
News source: ZDnet