Feeds

Microsoft indemnifies Novell Moonlight users

Patent media protection

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Mix 08 The Novell-sponsored project porting the Silverlight cross-browser plug to Linux is getting patent protection from Microsoft, indemnifying users from aggressive patent holders and litigators such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Microsoft will provide codecs worth $1m to every user downloading Moonlight from Novell under a special patent covenant. This is separate to the companies' broader - and controversial - patent protection and interoperability deal of November 2005.

Miguel de Icaza, Novell developer platform vice president leading Moonlight, told a panel on open source at Microsoft's Mix 08 conference anyone who downloads a codec from Novell under the patent covenant is covered. "If you download from a third party, you probably have to speak to Microsoft," he added.

de Icaza, who led the Mono Project putting .NET on Unix, Linux and Mac, was unhappy about the fact such an agreement had to be made and said Microsoft would take heat for continuing to own patents in its own products. However, he accepted the need for a patent protection clause as the price of doing business.

"We should have stayed with the open source community," de Icaza said but added: "That's better than saying we might be infringing but we are going to stick it to the man... I think we've done as well as we could."

Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of open source and Linux strategy, told Reg Dev after the panel that Microsoft is supporting Moonlight to give developers greater choice in target platforms. Moonlight kicked off precisely because Microsoft was unable to commit to Linux in Silverlight version one, which supported Safari, Firefox, and Mac versions 10.4.8 or higher on PowerPC and Intel, in addition to Internet Explorer and Windows

Patent protection stems from Microsoft's existing canon of agreements negotiated with owners of codec patents in order to ship products such as Media Player and Silverlight. Microsoft has volume licensing agreements with major codec patent holders worth more than $1m, according to Ramji.

The deal is the latest example of the support Microsoft is providing Moonlight. Microsoft has also provided regression testing for Moonlight that de Icaza told Reg Dev was important because it gave his team access to the people who wrote the code for Silverlight, instead of simply being left with the specification.

de Icaza, meanwhile, is excited by Silverlight 2.0, released to beta this week. He highlighted the inclusion of .NET class libraries, integration with LINQ, integration with sockets and the ability to program with Silverlight using a choice of languages as important features.®

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.