Feeds

Novell fills Microsoft Silverlight hole

Officially official

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'
Admits to 'a metric ****load' of mistakes during work with Linux collaborators
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.