Moonlight 2 hot on the heels of Silverlight
Version 2 of Moonlight is now available to download as a Firefox plug-in from Novell's Mono project website. The software allows WMA files and multimedia content implemented using Microsoft's rich internet Silverlight technology to be replayed in Linux. The new version, which was originally scheduled for release some months earlier, aims for broad compatibility with Silverlight 2.0.
The current stable version of Microsoft's RIA product is version 3, but the company presented a beta of version 4.0 at its Professional Developer Conference (PDC). If the Moonlight development team hits its ambitious targets, according to the roadmap a Linux implementation of Silverlight 3 should be ready by the third quarter of 2010, by which time they are also hoping to have produced an alpha version of Moonlight 4.
A media report quotes Miguel de Icaza, Novell Vice President of Developer Products, as saying that Moonlight 2 will contain some of the functions introduced in Silverlight 3, such as the modular media pipeline, Ogg and Dirac codecs and improved streaming functions to allow users to skip backwards and forwards in videos with almost no delay. 3D and pixel shader effects have not been implemented.
The report also mentions a patent covenant which includes a guarantee from Microsoft that it will not sue Moonlight users or distributors who use Microsoft-patented technologies included in Moonlight. This means that Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or Fedora are now free to include Moonlight without fear of litigation.