Feeds

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight hole

Officially official

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.