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Miguel de Icaza
Born c. 1972
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Software developer
Employer Novell Inc.
Title Vice President of Developer Platform
Spouse(s) Maria Laura

Miguel de Icaza (born c. 1972) is a Mexican free software programmer, best known for starting the GNOME and Mono projects.[1]




Early years

Miguel de Icaza was born in Mexico City and studied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) but never received a degree. He came from a family of scientists in which his father was a physicist and his mother a biologist.[2] He started writing free software in 1992.

Early software career

In summer of 1997, he was interviewed by Microsoft for a job in the Internet Explorer Unix team (to work on a SPARC port), but lacked the university degree required to obtain a work H-1B visa. He declared in an interview that he tried to persuade his interviewers to free the IE code even before Netscape did with their own browser.

GNOME, Ximian, and Mono

De Icaza started the GNOME project with Federico Mena in August 1997 to create a completely free desktop environment and component model for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.[3] Earlier, De Icaza had worked on the Midnight Commander file manager and the Linux kernel. He also created the spreadsheet program Gnumeric.

In 1999, De Icaza, along with Nat Friedman, co-founded Helix Code, a GNOME-oriented free software company that employed a large number of other GNOME hackers. In 2001, Helix Code, later renamed Ximian, announced the Mono Project, to be led by De Icaza, with the goal to implement Microsoft's new .NET development platform on Linux and Unix-like platforms. In August 2003, Ximian was acquired by Novell, Inc. There, De Icaza is currently the Vice President of Developer Platform.

Advocacy of Microsoft technologies

De Icaza endorsed Microsoft's Office Open XML (OOXML) document standard,[4][5][6] disagreeing with a lot of the widespread criticism in the open source and free software community.

He has also been a long time advocate of using Mono - a free software implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework - in GNOME[7]. This has raised a lot of disagreement due to the patents that Microsoft holds on, and related to, the .NET Framework.

Awards and recognition

Miguel de Icaza has received the Free Software Foundation 1999 Award for the Advancement of Free Software, the MIT Technology Review Innovator of the Year Award 1999, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 innovators for the new century in September 2000.

In early 2010 he received a Microsoft MVP Award[8].

Personal life

Miguel has had cameo appearances in the 2001 motion pictures Antitrust and The Code.

He married Brazilian Maria Laura in 2003.


External links



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