Moonlight Steals Spotlight From Silverlight


I laugh inside when Microsoft loses ground, even in the slightest way. It’s particularly sweet when Redmond loses to a company like Novell, which owned the LAN market it pioneered through the 1990s, only to have it ripped from its grasp by the totally inferior Windows NT. This week Novell’s Miguel de Icaza announced the first public (pre-beta) release of Moonlight, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plug-in for media streaming and running rich Internet applications. Both products would compete in the space now dominated by Adobe’s Flash Player.

In my experience, anything having to do with media playback that Microsoft touches has turned to garbage. Take Media Player. Version 2.0 is a far better utility than anything that has come along since. Media Player 10 is slow, bloated and unintuitive. Not to mention ugly. Who in their right mind would install Silverlight over Flash as their runtime for browser-based RIAs? The same people, I suppose, that now need to use IE to get all the functionality from browser apps containing ActiveX controls. But I digress.

According to Miguel’s May 13 blog post, the Moonlight release for Firefox supports the Silverlight 1.0 profile for Linux x86 and x86-64. The early release support no media codecs. Developers and contributors are invited to visit the download page and submit any bugs.

Microsoft released Silverlight last September, but still has not added tooling to Visual Studio, according to a Redmond Developer News story from May 12. Silverlight 2.0 is reportedly in phase 1 beta testing, and a compatible version of Moonlight is already in the works.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].

scru 909 Posting Virtuoso Featured Poster

Quick fact - Microsoft actually partnered with Novell to push Moonlight out to the niche Linux market.

"Who in their right mind would install Silverlight over Flash as their runtime for browser-based RIAs?" you make it sound as though the two can't co-exist peacefully. As though you can't install both and be happy. To answer your question; somebody who needs use an app that was written in silverlight. They can't, after all, force their flash plugin to run it, can they?

"I laugh inside when Microsoft loses ground, even in the slightest way." - I laugh inside when people go and say things like that.

jbennet 1,618 Most Valuable Poster Team Colleague Featured Poster

Media Player 10 is slow, bloated and unintuitive

thats why media player 11 exists DUH...

EddieC 0 Posting Whiz in Training

hi jbennet- call me crazy, but after seeing Media Player 9, I've sworn off all further "improvements."

hi scru- yeah, I had seen reports of Microsoft's "cooperation," with Novell on Moonlight, but didn't give it much stock. I've found that if my default position is to distrust Monopolysoft, I'm right most of the time.

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