First Moonlight port of Silverlight to Linux due in six months

Summary:Miguel de Icaza, Vice President of Developer Platforms at Novell, said this week the first release of "Moonlight" -- Novell's port of Microsoft's Flash-competitor Silverlight to Linux -- should be done in another six months.

Miguel de Icaza, Vice President of Developer Platforms at Novell, said this week the first release of "Moonlight" -- Novell's port of Microsoft's Flash-competitor Silverlight to Linux -- should be done in another six months.

First Moonlight port of Silverlight to Linux due in six months
De Icaza provided an update on that status of Moonlight during this week's XML 2007 conference.

Moonlight 1.0 (which will not include support for Mono, Novell's port of .Net to Linux -- not surprising given that Silverlight 1.0 doesn't support .Net, either) is due in six months. Moonlight 1.1, which does include Mono support, is application-programming-interface (API) complete now, and will be ready shortly thereafter. Moonlight 2.0, which will be based on Silverlight 2.0 (the product formerly known as Silverlight 1.1) will be out six to 12 months after Microsoft ships Silverlight 2.0.

(The latest ship target for Silverlight 2.0 I've heard is mid-2008.)

While Microsoft initially was not keen on providing a port of Silverlight to Linux itself, it embraced Novell's decision to do so earlier this year. Microsoft officials recently have been proud to tout Silverlight's cross-operating-system support on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Microsoft is making documentation available to Novell that isn't publicly available to other Silverlight developers, de Icaza admitted this week. As part of Novell's arrangement with Microsoft, Microsoft also is providing financial incentives to Novell to get Silverlight on Linux, de Icaza added.

"Microsoft agreed to pay all the licensing and patent fees for redistributing the (Silverlight) codecs," de Icaza said. "We don't have the Microsoft codecs for Silverlight now. So we can not yet do streaming. ... But it's coming."

In exchange for Microsoft's financial and technical support, "the agreement is we have to pass a regression suite (test) from top to bottom and make sure it (Moonlight) runs on all three top major linux distributions," de Icaza told attendees of his talk at XML 2007 on December 5.

Novell also is planning on providing additional drivers for additional open-source operating systems, including FreeBSD and Solaris, de Icaza said.

Topics: Linux, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Software Development

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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