Microsoft has announced that it is partnering with Novell on an open source implementation of its Silverlight cross-platform rich internet client, which will be known as Moonlight and be based on the Mono project.
Microsoft also announced the release of version 1.0 of Silverlight, which is an extension of Windows Vista’s rich internet platform, Windows Presentation Foundation designed to extend its rich internet experience to non-Microsoft platforms, such as the Mac or the Firefox browser.
The launch of a version of Silverlight for Linux is the direct result of feedback from potential users, according to Microsoft. Novell is the natural partner for the project. Not only is it Microsoft’s closest Linux partner, but it is also home to Mono, an open source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET environment that was initially sponsored by Ximian prior to its acquisition by Novell in August 2003.
Mono founder Miguel De Icaza is now vice president of developer platforms and leader of the Mono project, and will lead the Moonlight initiative. Moonlight itself will be a 100% compatible Silverlight runtime implementation, while Microsoft will also be delivering Silverlight Media Codecs for Linux to make it all work.
In addition to Silverlight 1.0 and the Moonlight project, Microsoft also announced some early adopters for Silverlight, as well as a new Silverlight partner program. Early adopters include Entertainment Tonight, the Home Shopping Network, and World Wrestling Entertainment.
The partner program already includes 35 members including content network infrastructure providers such as Akamai Technologies, CacheLogic and Level3, IHVs and ISVs including Tarari, Sonic Solutions, and Telestream, seven service providers, and 11 design agencies.