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back to article Silverlight for Linux hits with Microsoft punch

An open-source version of Silverlight has been released with Microsoft's support, as Flash rival Adobe began crowing about the new media player's death. Moonlight 1.0 from the Novell-backed Mono team was posted Wednesday, having passed all of Microsoft's regression tests. Moonlight plugs into Firefox and is available for all …

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Anonymous Coward

codecs worth $1million per user ??

really?

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Linux users are not the BBC

The BBC might pay a million dollars per user for some codecs, but Linux users have theora, vorbis and speex already. These codecs were built on prior art, so they are explicitly legal and do not require Microsoft to keep to the spirit of some vague non-binding promises about remaining open. In twenty years, when the patents have expired, silver/moon light might have some real legal clout for Linux users.

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Paris Hilton

not for me thanks....

Flash laden sites are bad enough but if I get to any site that has Silverlight forced on me is one that I will avoid.

Yep, I use Linux but I am very suspicious of the legality of all that Mono c**p.

Sorry microsoft, I'll live with Flash but I can live without Silverlight(and its derivatives)

And a thank you to the writers of Flashblock. At least with that I get a choice about what I view.

Paris because she would rather be in the Flashlight than the Slivery light of the moon

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Silverlight Flash

$1m lol...

I suppose if Microsoft make Silverlight support Flash content as well they will likely run into legal trouble again.

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Marketroid speak

"and enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed"

in other words "just like"

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Now let's see

I refuse to install Silverlight at work on my Windows PCs, and at home on the Mac. I have two Linux laptops... mmm how likely is it I will install it on them?

NOT

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Pirate

Quizzling

Miguel de Icaza is a quizzling. Come the glorious revolution, all collaborators with the enemy will be summarily shot.

For now, rest assured that Miguel de Icaza's name features prominently on the Black List.

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RG
Linux

Not so fast ....

The Fedora Project, which is committed to FOSS, saw fit to forbid Moonlight due to legal risk:

"There are serious concerns about Moonlight, due to Microsoft and Novell's public statements around its inclusion in their "covenant". In addition to that Groklaw has posted a FAQ from Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) on the issues with this patent "covenant". Accordingly, this technology (with, or without codecs), is considered too risky, and is not acceptable for inclusion in Fedora."

See: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems#Moonlight

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Unhappy

Silverlight 1?

I installed Moonlight in my Linux computer a couple months ago, but I have never been able to test it because I've yet to find a site that uses Silverlight 1. Everything I've found is Silverlight 2, and refuses to run under Moonlight.

I would've liked to test it with Obama's inauguration, but I did not watch it Live, and the next day all the video links I found in whitehouse.gov were to YouTube, (And I'd say whitehouse.com does not use silverlight, either, but that is another story ;-)

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Gates Horns

DRM for Linux

"...included is the Windows Media Pack..."

and all the unwanted baggage that brings with it.

I don't think so.

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Gates Halo

Looks good

For the record, I don't care for Flash, and am a bit disappointed in how disinterested Adobe has been in the free software community, especially in how long it took them to release the Unix version of Flash player 10, and its spotty performance. I really wouldn't mind seeing Silverlight take off if Microsoft continues to support it like this for all platforms. It really is quite a nice service, especially for streaming full motion video. Hooray for competition.

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Tom
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Lovely

A nice new set of disc brakes for my matter transporter!

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Linux

Confused

Does any get the impression that the left hand doesn't know what the right hands doing?

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Anonymous Coward

1m per user

Frankly, I don't have the need for another plug-in multimedia framework for my browser, even if it includes such an exceptional value. But surely could take the cash instead of the codecs, where do I can request it?

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Go

One word

Sue.If it contains microsoft stuff the go ahead microsoft,sue the crap out of freeware.

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Flame

They can bugger off

The Mono team should get back to their main project, get dotNet working on *nix and not be pissing around with unwanted (non-standard!) browser bollocks.

Better yet, MS should just yank their finger out and make the languages portable.

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Adobe hokum

I was never explicitly asked for AIR or Adobe.com to be installed, they installed themselves and are thus simply malware. They have now been removed as they are bug-ridden pieces of shit and cause problems starting a PC.

But I guess I still count towards their install base, but only because they stooped the underhand tactics of a trojan to get their payload installed.

As for Silverlight - don't need, don't want.

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Ash
Linux

@AC (codecs wirth $1m)

Yeah, sure! In the same way that sharing a popular album costs $1,050,000 in lost revenue when shared (at $70,000 a track).

I don't have SilverLight installed on my PC. Have I missed much? I just don't use websites which require it, much like sites which require bloated Flash navigation (check out GorillaMask.com for an example).

Tux? Because I wish I could get Linux to work.

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Paris Hilton

I love gold

I think the codec's were written in gold.

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Linux

Good luck with it.

$1m per user seems like someone has been spiking the kool-aid. But anyway, this is from MS-lovers Icaza and the Mono team, with MSFT blessing, so crazy claims are to be expected, in line with the "patents infringed by linux kernel that only notvell clients are safe from" claims.

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Stop

codecs

when prices are set arbitrarily, any figure for value is meaningless.

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Dead Vulture

codecs worth $1million per user ??

Not by a chance, but MS would be delighted.

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Adobe figures

"Adobe claimed AIR had passed 100 million installs in the year since its release"

Yes and I reckon 99.9 million uninstalled the piece of shit asap.

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Flame

$1M worth of codecs?

Set aside for future lawsuits and legal blackmailing of users in posession of the technology in the future perhaps?

What planet are these people on? just for codecs? come on.

Mono is a monstrosity created out of frustration and so is it's spawn Moonlight.

Sorry, but if it's not completely and eternally free of the looming sword of Damocles from Redmond, I neither need nor want it.

"Where do you want to go today?" nay,

How do you want to be raped today?

Adobe needs to STFU as well, this is getting really old now. Flash is still a shitty, badly documented technology with even worse dependencies.

This stupid bickering of who gets to be the best and has the shiniest pebbles needs to stop, and companies should keep to one universal, open standard.

All they are doing now is create more dependency and larger chance of error.

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Useless without MS media pack

I really have to wonder who the hell thinks Linux is going to be a peer with Windows. Linux support is pure tokenism and doomed to be inferior. At best it will offer broken functionality for the latest Silverlight a year later than on Windows, at worst it won't work at all. The problem is just like with .NET, Microsoft has tied the runtime to their own technology.

And true to form Microsoft chose to NOT support the industry standard AVC/H264 video codec in Silverlight. Instead they mandated VC-1 and earlier WMP variants of the same. Consequently there is absolutely no way for Linux to support Silverlight without either exposing itself to patent violations, or infecting itself with closed-source binaries. Binaries that Microsoft could deprecate or leave to bitrot any time they felt like. On top of that, DRM'd content that Netflix or similar sites isn't going to work either.

Mono CANNOT emulate Silverlight perfectly and the situation is never going to improve. Linux will always offer an inferior experience to Windows which is probably why Microsoft is happy to offer token support. Silverlight developers create apps in Microsoft Developer Studio, QA test with Internet Explorer (or possibly Firefox) on MS Windows and expect users to use Silverlight runtime. Linux won't even be on the radar.

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Browser support

It doesn't seem to have anywhere near the same level of browser support as Flash. What about Opera, Epiphany, Flock etc? Flash works with them fine.

Also there only seem to be downloads for x86 Linux.

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Avi

I can't help but wonder

why, if the OSS one is as good as the proprietary one, they keep the proprietary one?

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Anonymous Coward

Indemnified? Really?

> Moonlight users are indemnified against litigation that might arise from their use in Moonlight.

No they're not.

Mono *users* have a licence from Microsoft to use whatever licencable material (if any, dependent on jurisdiction) might be in Mono - but they do *not* have a licence to sub-licence those rights. As such, they do not have the right to pass on copies of Mono, either verbatim or modified. That means it can't be licenced under GPL or LGPL, as redistribution is a central tenet of (L)GPL. And because of that Mono cannot be linked into a derived product with any other GPL software - massively limiting its appeal in an environment where the GPL is a very popular and widespread licence.

But it gets worse. Mono *has* been released under a GPL licence, so those few adopters who start building systems based on it could find that their distribution suddenly has to remove Mono from the OS bundle. Such a collapse of your underlying platform would destroy any such effort overnight.

Now all this is trivially fixable - Microsoft simply has to permit sub0licencing if it wants this to work. They have repeatedly been asked to do just this. They have repeatedly refused.

Without the sub-licencing grant, Mono is a Trrojan Horse that could sink pretty much any distro that chooses to use it. With the sub-licencing grant, it becomes a usable platform that can be used in a Free environment in the way that Microsoft *claims* it wants it to be used. One can only guess at their motives for choosing the former over the latter...

One distribution has a little extra "protection"[1]; Novell signed a conenant wioth Microsoft not to sue each other or each other's customers. So Novell customers would have fewer problems with the above (although the use of Mono is other GPL-based projects would still be problematical). But note that this is not a *permanent* promise not to sue - it only lasts for a few years, at which point Microsoft could go ahead and sue all and sundry, even those that were previously "protected" by the covenant. Another Trojan Horse.

And this is why most of the Free Software community are avoiding Mono like the plague - it's simply too dangerous. Whilst it might be a useful platform, there is nothing you can do in Mono that you can't do in some other programming environment, except receive those media broadcasts in Silverlight - i.e. the only thing that Mono does is to give you access to those things that are deliberately crafted to prevent you having access unless you do so on Microsoft's terms.

Mono *could* be a defining moment in co-operation between the worlds of proprietary and Free software. All it takes is a few words from Microsoft. Until and unless they allow sub-licencing, it simply remains poisonous.

[1] "Protection" as in "This is a very nice distro. it would be a shame if anything happened to it". Spoken in a Marlon Brando stylee. That sort of "protection".

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Jobs Horns

Embrace, Extend

EXTINGUISH!

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Bye bye Flash. You won't be missed.

"I'd say...we're innovating ahead of them [Microsoft], and they have not been able to catch up," Garrett said.

Is this the company that doesn't have a 64-bit build of their code?

The writing is on the wall for Adobe. MS are determined to replace Flash as the de facto standard. So determined, in fact, that they are being helpful to Linux users. Does such, er, *unusual* behaviour from the Vole not give Garret and his chums pause for thought?

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Linux

If you embrace it...

... they will extend it.

Probably with with wrappers around windows functions which will be hard to replicate cross-platform. You'll always lag a bit in supported functionality, always be not quite as good as the windows version.

A lesson from OS/2: if you are runtime compliant with someone-else's system, no-one will code natively for yours.

Are you indemnified by Novell if you haven't paid for Suse? I seem to think this issue has come up before, but I can't remember the outcome.

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ITV Player *still* doesn't work

When trying to access video on ITV.com it just displays an "Install Silverlight" image, which when clicked takes you to Moonlight homepage. "Congratulations, you're running the current release of Moonlight!"

Hmm.... this is very disappointing, been waiting for ages for an update to Moonlight so that ITV Player can be accessed in Linux (ubuntu 8.10). Why can't this be resolved?

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Microsoft simply has to permit sub0licencing if it wants this to work

...but Microsoft cant do that because Microsoft don't own all the IP involved! VC1 (AKA WMP) had at least 11 patent infringement claims against it.

...and it seems every time Microsoft release source without heavy NDA's more 'borrowing' is found. So no chance of open source Windoze either... they cant even just use the Mono open source versions because its unlikely they've worked round or could work round the patents involved.

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@Ken Hagan

There's a 64-bit Flash 10 player for Linux.

Also, to answer P Lee above - no, you have to be a customer of Novell. So if you have OpenSuse you're still open to the threat.

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No, lord no, not more RIA crap, will they ever learn

"The goal is to let users on Linux machines play video and enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed by..."

= To allows us to subject the user to the same level of flashing, bandwidth-wasting crap using unnecessary non-standard extensions that we can only do on windows at the moment.

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MS & Adobe get stuffed.

MS can go stuff it and for that matter so can Adobe. I'm sick of the both of them.

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Linux

@MS & Adobe get stuffed.

Absolutely!

They give us the previous version of something (flash or silverlight) that no longer is of any use (see ITV.com comment above) and expect us to be grateful.

If you want open source users to use your software, release it for them in line with current versions.

I waited ages for flash player 10 on linux, and no amount of pleading on Abode forums made it any quicker. Now they have released it, i have forgotten what i needed it for...

Please remove me from your stats as i don't do AIR or Silverlight anymore.

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Tom
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@MS & Adobe get stuffed

Ere ear

The two of them joined forces to stuff javascript - and now want us to use their replacement for something we should have had anyway.

Microsoft + Adobe - both reinventing the wheel to put under your matter transporter.

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RW
Unhappy

Has el-Reg become an MS mouthpiece?

Quoth el-Reg: "enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed by users running Silverlight on PCs or even Macs."

This reads like PR puffery from Microsoft.

Come now, dear Reg: you can do better than that. I am disappointed.

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Pirate

@AC-Quizzling?

From Wikipedia:

Quisling, after Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany to conquer his own country, is a term used to describe traitors and collaborators. It was most commonly used for fascist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.

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Gates Halo

more silverlight content, please

The OS X version of flash is so cpu intensive maybe if Silverlight takes off more maybe Adobe will get their finger out stop the rot

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Anonymous Coward

@Flocke Kroes: "Not the BBC"

"Linux users have theora, vorbis and speex already"

You forgot to mention the BBC's very own open source royalty-free video codec, Dirac.

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Anonymous Coward

@J.WIld

You seriously have nothing better to do with your time?

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Hang on a minute.

"The goal is to let users on Linux machines play video and enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed by users running Silverlight on PCs or even Macs."

Um, who said that we want Silverlight. We don't care about Silverlight. We have Flash and Java. Thanks all the same, but no thanks.

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Stop

Uhhh

"The goal is to let users on Linux machines play video and enjoy the same breadth of content and quality of experience enjoyed by users running Silverlight on PCs or even Macs."

@Gavin Clarke: Did you forget to put that marketroid gibberish in quote marks or did you actually write that sentence?

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Flame

Re: MS & Adobe get stuffed.

Count me in on that.

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Linux

choose your poison !

Between Moolight and the uncertain legal aspects (in lawyer speak : if MS sue, you're doomed), and the fantastically bug ridden Flash 10, I don't see any hope soon. I don't want to mess with moonlight, but flash is so bad it's positively unuseable. Each video taxes 50% of my cpu time (Athlon 900 MHz), while mplayer to replay the very same stream taxes me a paltry 2%.

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rob
Gates Horns

Just wait for history to repeat itself

Everyone, quick, install this "free" software and make it the new standard while Microsoft crush their competitor and then wait for the punchline..

Version 3 will now come in two flavours: Basic and Ultimate!

Basic being free and useless and Ultimate being chargable!

Hooray for history lessons

Same old, same old

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