First Moonlight port of Silverlight to Linux due in six months

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.

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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 monthsDe 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

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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13 comments
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  • Time to make .Net truely crossplatform.

    This is a good move forwards - but I wish Microsoft would accept that .Net has to be more widely available. True, it's on 92%+ of all computers (well, not really - it can run on most of those), but the one argument I get against .Net application development that I simply cannot counter is 'Will it run on anything other than Windows?' and the answer is still 'no'.

    In many cases, the client is simply not willing to give up the <10% of the market that Macs and Linux boxes represent, or at least isn't willing to commit to a technology which excludes those platforms even if they're not actively supported yet.

    It's time to get .Net out either by making all non-patented namespaces public and protect them by incorporating them into the ECMA standard and letting the Mono project get on with moving them into Mono, or by just biting the bullet and making .Net for MacOS X and selected Linuxes.

    It shouldn't be that hard since they have Rotor.
    TheWerewolf
    • 8%

      [i]This is a good move forwards - but I wish Microsoft would accept that .Net has to be more widely available. True, it's on 92%+ of all computers (well, not really - it can run on most of those), but the one argument I get against .Net application development that I simply cannot counter is 'Will it run on anything other than Windows?' and the answer is still 'no'.[/i]

      And that's how it's going to stay. It's too much of a competitive weapon for MS to give up. As long as that 92% is less than 100%, Microsoft won't be secure.

      MS hasn't found the Final Solution, but they'll keep working on it until they make it happen.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
    • they already did that

      rotor was a release of .Net in its beta days. rotor ran on FreeBSD
      shis-ka-bob
  • Well, DUH!

    [i]While Microsoft initially was not keen on providing a port of Silverlight to Linux itself,[/i]

    Of course not -- that would have constituted waiver. If they had, they would have lost the opportunity to threaten users.

    [i]it embraced Novell?s decision to do so earlier this year.[/i]

    This way they can have Novell distribute it and then threaten the recipients. Best of both worlds.

    [i]As part of Novell?s arrangement with Microsoft, Microsoft also is providing financial incentives to Novell to get Silverlight on Linux, de Icaza added.[/i]

    And money well spent, all things considered. They should get it back manyfold both in FUD and in direct danegeld from corporate users.

    [i]?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.?[/i]

    That way, Novell is off the hook and can keep scattering it about set others up for the follow-through.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • You do understand?

      That this is to be used on a desktop? So perhaps MS wasn't at first concerned about both Linux desktop users missing out. However, what the Linux desktop users lack in numbers they sre make up for it with their whining - which continues on even when MS delivers some sophisticated software to last century's OS.

      Just keep running those benchmarks and installing those distros, while the rest of us get on with real work.
      tonymcs@...
      • Do the fanbois discredit their platform of adoration?

        [i]Just keep running those benchmarks and installing those distros, while the rest of us get on with real work.[/i]

        I have professional admins who keep the systems here running so we can design integrated circuits on them. Current GM is quite a bit higher than Intel's, but we can't credit the Linux infrastructure for that since the entire industry all uses it.
        Yagotta B. Kidding
  • RE: First Moonlight port of Silverlight to Linux due in six months

    Who cares? 6 months behind... 12 months later... this shows Linux will ALWAYS be playing catch-up since it's a platform they do not control. Linux thus will always have second-rate support compared to Windows.

    Miguel De Icaza has sold out to Microsoft, nobody who cares about Open Source should listen to what he says or does.
    willykreim@...
    • ROFL

      You mentioned linux and support in the same sentence ;-)
      tonymcs@...
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash....

    Just how 'important' is Silverlight technology overall when Adobe keeps lighting a bonfire under Flash and SUN Java keeps on keeping?

    ...it's a gas gas gas!

    Anybody?
    D T Schmitz
  • This was inevitable.

    It is inevitable for the corporate software industry, including Microsoft, to tire of fighting the wind with their subterfuge against Open Source. One by one, they will find ways to jump on the open source bandwagon. I expected Microsoft to package its own Linux distribution long ago, since that would be consistent with their strategy of borrowing, copying or buying everything they've every done.

    You need to understand that Linux is not a company but rather a world movement; it cannot be bought-out, intimidated with selective OEM agreements, or forced out of business from competitive pricing. In short, it cannot be competed against. Linux will be here in a hundred years when the Microsoft Corporation will have long since evolved into some kind of multimedia conglomerate (writing software is clearly difficult for them).

    You may believe that Microsoft has gained such enormous success by being the ready name brand to those who aren't sophisticated enough to make an intelligent choice in software, but there are surely a few well-placed linchpins without which Microsoft could eventually unravel--the OEM agreements and The Enterprise. Open Source gradually obtains business legitimacy, and the word Linux will gradually acquire name-brand power. There's a con man born every day, and it will become so easy, and profitable, to claim that you've been behind open source all along.
    apsteffe
  • Yay?

    1) What do they think are the top three linux distributions and what method(s) are they using for determining this?

    2) Who really cares? Flash really owns this landscape and I don't think even Microsoft can take ownership at this point in time...

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach
  • don't do flash! if Moonlight/Silverlight is just as proprietary, i won't go

    there either.

    not gonna live in a Microsoft or Sun or NOvell or . . . world.

    :)

    .
    wessonjoe
  • RE: First Moonlight port of Silverlight to Linux due in six months

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