Feeds

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight hole

Officially official

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.