Feeds

Silverlight for Linux hits with Microsoft punch

Adobe claims "fizzle" not "sizzle"

Intelligent flash storage arrays

An open-source version of Silverlight has been released with Microsoft's support, as Flash rival Adobe began crowing about the new media player's death.

Moonlight 1.0 from the Novell-backed Mono team was posted Wednesday, having passed all of Microsoft's regression tests. Moonlight plugs into Firefox and is available for all major Linux distributions including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat, and Ubuntu.

Moonlight builds on Silverlight 1.0, coming with a graphics pipeline, video and audio frameworks, and a JavaScript bridge that use the browser's JavaScript engine to execute.

Also included is the Windows Media Pack, which adds support for Windows Media Video (.wmv), Windows Media Audio (.wma), and MP3.

The goal is to let users on Linux machines play video and enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed by users running Silverlight on PCs or even Macs.

Project leader Miguel de Icaza said on his blog: "The entire media work involved hard work at every level, but it was worth the effort. We now have one of the best open source media pipelines implemented. And it will only get better with all the new features in Silverlight 2 for adaptive streaming."

The media pack also carries valuable legal clout for Linux users. It features codecs that have already been licensed by Microsoft from major media companies and are worth $1m per user. Moonlight users are indemnified against litigation that might arise from their use in Moonlight.

This is not the only area where Microsoft has assisted Moonlight. The project has been facilitated through the release of the Microsoft Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) under the company's Shared Source initiative and the release of the Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), Silverlight Control Library, and Control Toolkit under its OSI-approved Permissive License (MS-PL).

Microsoft backed off putting Silverlight on Linux in 2007, opening the door to Moonlight. The company, though, has come around to the view that an open-source edition would help overall adoption of Silverlight and construction of media content for the player.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of Microsoft's .NET developer division, said in a statement: "We have worked with the Moonlight team and Novell to enable interoperability between Windows and Linux platforms and extend the high-quality interactive web and video experience for the benefit of the Linux community."

An open-source version of Silverlight could also help confuse the market for Microsoft's media player rival Adobe Systems with its Flash Player and AIR rich-internet-application runtime. Adobe's Flash Player 10 runs on Linux and the company has open-sourced the specs, but the company stopped short of open-sourcing the player that is pervasive on PCs and online.

Adobe chief financial officer Mark Garrett reportedly dismissed Silvelight Wednesday, telling Wall Street types the player had "really fizzled out in the last six to nine months."

"I'd say... we're innovating ahead of them [Microsoft], and they have not been able to catch up," Garrett said.

It is not clear on what basis Garrett was speaking, with both Microsoft and Adobe engaged in a mind-share war.

Adobe in recent months has been talking up downloads and installations of Flash and AIR, while claiming Microsoft's media-player market share has fallen. Adobe, though, seems to have combined Windows Media Player and Silverlight in its numbers. If that's the case, a decline would not be a surprise, given Windows Media Player is not Microsoft's focus, and we're between releases of Windows while Silverlight is still being evaluated.

Adobe has said Flash Player 10, which is used in AIR, has been installed on more than 55 per cent of computers and it expects downloads will surpass 80 per cent by the second quarter of 2009. Adobe claimed AIR had passed 100 million installs in the year since its release.

Microsoft, for its part, has claimed "hundreds of millions" of Silverlight downloads, a broad claim that cannot be verified or qualified.

What is for certain, though, is that apart from some profile-raising customers such as the NBC Olympics and Netflix, Silverlight adoption lags Flash by a considerable margin. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.