Now that the G1 with Google's Android OS is now available (soon), will the android platform ever support .Net?
Update: Since I wrote this answer two years ago, we productized Mono to run on Android. The work included a few steps: porting Mono to Android, integrating it with Visual Studio, building plugins for MonoDevelop on Mac and Windows and exposing the Java Android APIs to .NET languages. This is now available at http://monodroid.net
Mono on Android is based on the Mono 2.10 runtime, and defaults to 4.0 profile with the C# 4.0 compiler and uses Mono's new SGen garbage collection engine, as well as our new distributed garbage collection system that performs GC across Java and Mono.
The links below reflect Mono on Android as of January of 2009, I have kept them for historical context
Mono now works on Android thanks to the work of Koushik Dutta and Marc Crichton.
You can see a video of it running here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2009/01/mono-on-android-with-gratuitous-shaky.html
And you can get the instructions to build Mono yourself here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2009/01/building-mono-for-android.html
You can get a benchmark comparing Mono's JIT vs Dalvik's interpreter here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2009/01/dalvik-vs-mono.html
And of course, you can get a pre-configured image with Mono here (go to the bottom of the post for details on using that): http://www.koushikdutta.com/2009/01/building-mono-for-android.html
Yes, it will be possible and it won't be that difficult. All what's needed at this point to start with is some kind of converter that will turn MSIL into Dalvik bytecode. Since both formats are open-sourced and well documented, there won't be any problem with it.
So, writing Android applications in C# or VB.NET will be possible, question is how much of .NET framework standard libraries will be supported. But that's another issue.
Oscar Reyes wrote:
I'm pretty sure if google hand ANY interest in .net, they would've design something while Android was in the first stages, not now when they are in production stages. I don't mean it is not possible, what I'm saying is they're not interested. Maybe in mmm hhhh 10 yrs.
Actually what they've already designed is very compatible with Java and .NET
They can't do everything at once, but if you look into Android SDK, there is a tool called dx. This tool converts Java bytecode into Dalvik bytecode, so in other words, you can run programs written in Java on Android with no effort today. Now the same tool is needed for .NET.
Considering how similar .NET and Java are, it's really a matter of time.
The .Net->Java->Dalvik translation can be done even now (http://dev.mainsoft.com/), but I think you underestimate the lack of .Net libraries. Of course somebody can port Mono, but it's definitely a non-trivial effort.
No need to port Mono. Android already has VM and some basic API. All what's needed is CIL->Dalvik converter and tiny .NET wrapper for Android API (and maybe some basic implementation of some standard .NET classes). That's it.
Update: .NET already works on Android - you will need product called Monodroid (http://monodroid.net) as stated above.