Silverlight shines on Linux

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Silverlight shines on Linux

Novell has unveiled a new open source project which will allow Linux users to access Microsoft Silverlight content.

Moonlight 1.0, which comes as a Firefox plug-in, was created by the Mono Project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell.

The software is available for all Linux distributions, including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat and Ubuntu.

Also included in Moonlight is the Windows Media pack, with support for Windows Media Video, Windows Media Audio and MP3 files, according to Novell.

"Moonlight 1.0 [and Silverlight 1.0] both come with a graphics pipeline, video and audio frameworks and a JavaScript bridge, and neither contains an actual execution environment," wrote Miguel de Icaza, founder of the Mono Project and developer platform vice president at Novell, in a blog post.

"The execution environment is the browser's own JavaScript engine. When developers build Moonlight 1.0-based plug-ins they script all of the functionality using the browser's own JavaScript engine."

The announcement is the product of a technical collaboration between Microsoft and Novell first announced nearly 18 months ago. Developers are now working on Moonlight 2.0, which will be compatible with Silverlight 2.0, said de Icaza.

Laurent Lachal of analyst firm Ovum said that the Mono Project is still finding its footing but Moonlight has the potential to have a bigger impact.

"Microsoft is very much pushing Silverlight as multi-platform, because it is coming from a position of weakness vis-à-vis Adobe," he explained.

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