Not too long ago, I shared my thoughts on Microsoft’s introduction of Silverlight, its blatant lack of Linux support, and how it was aiming at regaining its browser dominance. Well, it looks like the Open Source crowd has picked up the pieces again with a solution to conquer what ails the common Linux user. Silverlight, meet Moonlight.
Every silver idea has a moonlit lining. In the past, I will admit that my concerns about the outcome of Microsoft potentially using Silverlight to further alienate the casual Linux user really had me concerned. But it looks like Microsoft’s efforts have actually branched off into some new creativity on the Linux front.
With that said, at the end of the day, maybe Silverlight will gain that badly needed Linux support despite Microsoft’s total lack of help here?
What to expect from this “Moonlight” effort? Because so much of this remains in development, probably not a lot right now should be expected. At the same time, some real life examples of what can be done with Moonlight are already beginning to surface. Also, it is worth remembering that there is still much work to be done before Moonlight becomes a fierce competitor to Silverlight.
Considering the Mono base of the Moonlight effort, much of the expected success will play a part in how well Mono developers can push on and make the Moonlight product something that will offer full Silverlight functionality. To be fair, however, it looks like things are getting pretty close to an even race as Moonlight has been making some great progress.
How will Microsoft likely respond? At this point, I really cannot see how it would respond. I mean, what could it say at this point, and at the same time, there is next to nothing that it can do about it regardless. And even with Microsoft ruling out any implementation of Silverlight for Linux, an obvious ploy to further alienate us from it latest creation, now I’m hearing that Microsoft is having some second thoughts.
Microsoft’s change of heart. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the exact quote is something to the effect of, "In light of our new relationship with Novell, the idea of a Linux implementation of Silverlight is a lot more interesting to us now." Oh, so all it took was the Open Source community to show Microsoft that with or without its help, Linux users had no intention of being left out in the cold.
So, who will win this standards war? Will it be Microsoft with its Silverlight offerings for Linux – finally? Or instead, have we had enough of it and simply feel like waiting for the Open Source Moonlight to come to fruition as the most logical, ethical bet? This one is on you. Today, you are the judge.
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[tags]open source, oss, moonlight, silverlight[/tags]