Feeds

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight hole

Officially official

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has extended its controversial partnership with Novell to make the Silverlight cross-platform, cross-browser media player run on Linux desktops.

The companies are formalizing the unofficial work of a number of Novell-backed engineers and hackers that put Silverlight on Linux and Unix using pre-release code.

Members of the Mono Project devised a tool called Moonlight two months after Microsoft released early Silverlight code at its Mix 07 conference in May.

Novell's team has committed to put Silverlight 1.0 - released as final code this week - and version 1.1 on Linux. Microsoft will provide access to Silverlight test suites, specifications, and video and audio codecs used by Microsoft, while Novell has promised to implement and distribute Silverlight "for the major Linux distributions."

Microsoft said it is working with Novell in response to customer feedback. The company is acting, though, after the panning it took for dragging its feet putting Silverlight on Linux.

Microsoft heralded Silverlight as a cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in for building and delivering video content online, and as an alternative to Adobe's ubiquitous Flash media player. But in Microsoft's world, "cross platform" and "cross-browser" was apparently defined as support for Safari, Firefox and Mac versions 10.4.8 or higher on Intel and PowerPC, Internet Explorer and Windows.

The company refused to commit to other platforms, notably Linux, saying resources - or a lack thereof - were dictating its engineering priorities. Director of platform technology strategy Sam Ramji said unconvincingly at the time that Microsoft would "figure out where there is a sustainable platform" post PC and Mac.

It was a response from a company with a poor track record on Linux. The Novell-backed Mono Project, porting .NET to Linux and Unix, quickly hacked together Moonlight.

Miguel de Icaza, Novell's developer platform vice president and Mono founder, called the move an historical collaboration between an open source project and Microsoft. "They have collaborated with other folks on the server space (Xen and PHP) but this is their first direct contribution to the open source desktop.

"Microsoft benefits by making Silverlight reach the Linux and BSD spaces. We benefit by ensuring that users of open source operating systems get access to sites that adopt Silverlight to deliver content or spice up their web apps," de Icaza said. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.