Microsoft, Moonlight reach across aisle to bring Obama inauguration to Linux desktops

Looks like the spirit of bipartisan cooperation in D.C.

Looks like the spirit of bipartisan cooperation in D.C. has already left its mark on the PC.

Last night, we're told, Microsoft worked together with Novell-sponsored Mono Project and Moonlight team to enable Linux desktop users to view the inauguration events using the open source implementation of Silverlight.

Silverlight is Microsoft's browser plug-in and was selected by the presidential inauguration committee to broadcast today's inauguration events over the Internet. But it only supports Windows and Macintosh, and that caused some in the Linux community to cry foul.

Moonlight, the open source project working on an implementation of Silverlight for Linux, is still in beta. Yesterday, after protesters posted irate comments on Slash.com, we posted our own blog about the dispute. In it, Moonlight chief and Novell vp Miguel de Icaza indicated that the open source version wasn't quite ready for the inauguration.

But it looks like Microsoft -- or Novell -- reached across the aisle to get the matter resolved. de Icaza posted his cheerful update today. Proprietary Microsoft and Linux backer Novell promote two different operating systems yet have collaborated in the past to enable interoperability. Why not on this?

A Novell spokeswoman sent this note to this ZDNet blogger:

"With millions of people flooding the streets of the Capital and temps expected to be in the low teens today in D.C, one of the best places to see the historic swearing in ceremony may be right in front of your computer. Thanks to the Moonlight team working late into the night last night with Microsoft to offer an open source implementation of Silverlight, Linux and Power PC Mac users will also be able view today's inauguration event streaming online," she wrote.

Wow, talk about a new era. Microsoft has worked hard as of late to prove it is serious about interoperability with Linux and supporting open source projects. Let's hope it continues through this presidential term.

Sorry to say I got this note too late to try it out myself . I was busy watching the events on TV, the legacy broadcast device that it is.

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