Beta for Moonlight 4: the developers skip version 3
The Novell-sponsored Mono Project has released a first beta version of Moonlight 4. According to the developers, the new version of the Linux implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight browser plug-in for Firefox and Chrome includes all the features of Silverlight 3. Now that this has been achieved, the next steps will be to catch up with the APIs introduced about a year ago in Silverlight 4.
Microsoft is currently working towards Silverlight 5, and a beta is planned in the first half of this year. Silverlight, and its open source counterpart, enable the writing and presentation of so-called Rich Internet Applications (RIA). With the release of this beta it is clear that the Moonlight developers are skipping an official version 3 of the browser plug-in, and instead have adopted to jump straight from Moonlight 2.4 to version 4.
Among the new features, are Out of Browser Execution, GPU-accelerated graphics, 3D transformations and pixel shaders to speed up the display, support for V4L2 capture, H.264 and AAC playback and the underlying pipeline that is used by the Smooth Streaming system has been upgraded.
The beta of Moonlight 4 can be downloaded from the Mono Project web site, and is made available primarily under the GNU LGPL 2 licence.