If developers now fancy using Microsoft’s Visual Studio to develop Web applications for Linux, they will be able to do so, thanks to Microsoft's provision of Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, or "Grasshopper." A free .NET plug-in, Grasshopper is aimed at developers who create, debug and implement Web applications for all platforms that support Java, including Windows and Linux.

"The announcement is par the course for Mainsoft, which has extended Windows utilities to Unix systems for many years. In the 1990s, Microsoft licensed Windows source code to Mainsoft, which offers tools that help developers get their Windows software running on Unix, including Linux," said Senior Jupiter Analyst Joe Wilcox.