Earlier this month Attachmate laid off the developers working on Mono, an open source implementation of Microsoft .NET sponsored by Novell. Attachmate acquired Novell last year.

Today Mono creator Miguel de Icaza announced the formation of a new startup to support the open source project: Xamarin.

de Icaza wrote:

We have been trying to spin Mono off from Novell for more than a year now. Everyone agreed that Mono would have a brighter future as an independent company, so a plan was prepared last year.

To make a long story short, the plan to spin off was not executed. Instead on Monday May 2nd, the Canadian and American teams were laid off; Europe, Brazil and Japan followed a few days later. These layoffs included all the MonoTouch and MonoDroid engineers and other key Mono developers. Although Attachmate allowed us to go home that day, we opted to provide technical support to our users until our last day at Novell, which was Friday last week.

We were clearly bummed out by this development, and had no desire to quit, especially with all the great progress in this last year. So, with a heavy dose of motivation from my music teacher, we hatched a plan.

Now, two weeks later, we have a plan in place, which includes both angel funding for keeping the team together, as well as a couple of engineering contracts that will help us stay together as a team while we ship our revenue generating products.

According to de Icaza Xamarin will:

  • Build a new commercial .NET offering for iOS
  • Build a new commercial .NET offering for Android
  • Continue to contribute, maintain and develop the open source Mono and Moonlight components.
  • Explore the Moonlight opportunities in the mobile space and the Mac appstore.