I recently visited a local radio station kirotv.com(to hear the Mariners game) and the web site required Microsoft Silverlight to be installed for streaming audio. It also noted that Silverlight was available for Apple OS X, Windows, and Linux. Say that again? Microsoft making multi-platform software? Giving customers choice? It sounds crazy, but it’s absolutely true. Sorta, they are releasing the Linux version via an ‘Agreement not sue’ for downstream Novell customers.
The project is called, ‘Moonlight’. When I went to download Silverlight from Microsofts website I was redirected to the Moonlight front page. Moonlight is a part of the mono project. The mono project is the Open Source version of ‘Active X’ sponored by Novell. Microsoft has a sizable investment and co-marketing agreement with Novell, of whom is the distributor of SUSE Linux.
Here is a quote from ‘Covenant to Downstream Recipients of Moonlight – Microsoft & Novell Interoperability Collaboration’:
I found this interesting to:
It’s a bit paranoid, but Microsoft has alluded to this in the past; that Intellectual property and copy written material is becoming(or in danger of) infringement by incidental, accidental, or intentional means via inter-operability with Open Source software. Is anyone seriously worried that Windows would become Public Domain because .wmv files can play on Linux? Or because outsiders could might one day, scrutinize Windows source code freely? I doubt it, in my opinion this ‘line’ is to scare ISV’s from supporting Linux and protecting it’s Windows/Office monopoly. This agreement however, might be that first baby step toward a Open Source friendly Microsoft.
I easily installed Moonlight from Firefox. First I downloaded the plugin from from go-mono.com/moonlight/.
A pop-up box should appear on the screen allowing you to install as a firefox plugin. Remember that you have to enable pop-up’s to install this.
After it is installed you will be prompted to accept an end-user license agreement from Microsoft to use it’s technology with Novel Moonlight. So it is not as open source as I thought it was. This could be because of the streaming media codec. At least Microsoft is releasing cross-platform frameworks… It’s a start.
Once it was installed I was able to view Microsoft Silverlight content and streaming media. I found the installation was easy and the clarity of the streaming audio to be of high quality.