Microsoft made an interesting announcement, they are promising not to sue people for using Mono. Jolly good of them really, it is nice not being sued.
Lets just assume for the moment that this promise means what they say it means (forgetting about the partial implementations exclusion and the fact that the promise needed to be made in the first place) and it makes Mono totally safe to use now, even in countries with broken patent laws. I still won’t be using Mono. Mono is a useful tool for solving the problem “how on earth am I going to run all this .Net code I wrote when I switch to Linux?” I for one don’t have that problem, but for those that do, Mono is the tool for the job.
The reason I won’t be using Mono is that the .Net framework is already embraced by Microsoft, it is already extended by Microsoft. It was from the beginning and will probably always remain so. Mono is playing catch up and people want to be using the leader. This goes for Moonlight and Silverlight too. Silverlight 2 came out, some misguided websites moved to it, Moonlight 2 is in progress, but following. The only glimmer of hope for Mono as something that is more than a specific problem solving tool is GTK#. In this, the Free software community is taking the upper hand by extending Mono, in ways that Microsoft won’t follow. Maybe if .Net/GTK# applications become the norm on Windows this would be a good thing overall. Personally I will stick to Python/GTK on Ubuntu for my fairly limited desktop app programming requirements.