If you are a fan of Android, I’m sure you’re familiar with the legal wrangling going on between Google and Oracle. A company called Xamarin has announced that it has ported the Java-based Android operating system over to C# and the .NET framework. The new operating system resulting from the port is being called XobotOS.
The resulting operating system could be the first Android-like operating system that gets around any legal issues with Oracle. Apparently, Google originally considered using the .NET runtime and C# for Android before choosing to go with Java. The key difference between Java and the C# and .NET runtime is that the latter two are covered by ISO standards. That means there are legally binding commitments by Microsoft that prevent the software giant from suing implementers for patent infringement.
It would be easy enough to figure that Google simply didn’t want to use anything made by Microsoft in Android. Xamarin XobotOS took those parts of Android that are based on Java and ported them over using a Java to C# conversion tool called Sharpen. The company says that XobotOS is only a research project at this time, and it doesn’t intend to maintain the operating system as a standalone project. However, if a small company can do this and eliminate any potential issues with Oracle, Google should be able to fix things easy enough if it comes to that.