Moonlight is a open source version of Microsoft Silverlight platform… from the same folks that brought us Mono, an open source version of Microsoft’s .NET platform. But while Mono is still under active development, the founder of the project has confirmed that Moonlight is essentially dead in the water.

Silverlight is a web technology similar to Adobe Flash which lets developers write web apps such as games or video players. Probably the best known example of a website that uses Silverlight is the Netflix Watch Instantly streaming video service.


Moonlight started as a tool that would allow users to access Silverlight content while using a Linux or Unix computer. In other words, it would have let you stream Netflix on Ubuntu.

But aside from Netflix, Silverlight never gained all that much traction… and there are even signs that Microsoft isn’t going to be pushing the technology very hard once Windows 8 arrives.

So it’s not a huge shock that when InfoQ interviewed Miguel de Icaza recently, the founder of the Mono project stated that Moonlight has been “abandoned.”

It’s been over a year since the last version of Moonlight was released, and it didn’t support all Silverlight content… such as Netflix, which requires support for DRM — something Moonlight doesn’t currently offer. Now that development has ceased, it probably never will.

That’s not to say Netflix couldn’t add support for Linux without Silverlight or Moonlight. The company already offers streaming video services for iOS, Android, and Chrome OS, and none of those operating systems support Silverlight. But users have been waiting a long time to see Netflix add Linux support… and if I had to guess, I’d say the wait is far from over.

via ZDNet

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6 replies on “What a little Moonlight can’t do: Open source Silverlight clone is dead”

  1. I say Linux users should quit begging for Netflix.  It is time to flip Netflix the bird and let it get buried by the competition.  Linux users can watch free content on Hulu and pay per view with Hulu Plus, Amazon, and a few others.    Netflix is making the CHOICE to alienate Linux PC users.  No more talk of their hands being tied by DRM issues.  We know they have overcome DRM issues with Chrome OS and Android devices.  With falling stock value and rising competition, Netflix will eventually start begging US to join their user base, not the other way around.  And when they do, we need to say – too little, too late!

    1.  Chrome OS and Android devices provide alternate methods of ensuring DRM protection.  This isn’t the case with other platforms.

      Mind Google doesn’t strictly follow Open Source.  So they’re fine with using proprietary and closed methods of ensuring DRM but that isn’t the case for Linux, which insist on Open Source.

      While the DRM concept itself is arguably not really compatible with the Open Source mindset to begin with…

  2. Both MONO and MoonLight (or .NET and Silverlight … 
    are so contaminated with Microsoft patents, that it is dangerous to develop anything with it, or else face the future lawsuit and damages settlement from the case you will end up in court with (sitting on the other side of the case is none other than MS or it’s agents, wanting either massive amounts of money that you don’t have, or to shut you down so that they can take over your customer list)?

    Any thing related to MONO is a dead end due to software patents.

    1. Sorry but this is FUD!

      C# and Mono are an OPEN STANDARD and Microsoft has released a community promise. I would have hoped people would have seen that Oracle has lost it’s ability to sue and this would have shown that is anti- C# and Mono would go to bed. Stop this. This is doing the opposite of Freedom  and is  making people have less choose to use an Open Standard option.

      1. not a FUD ! read more community promise, it covers just very basic part of what C# & SL4 today is,… rest is patented (generic, LINQ,…), problem is that M$ don’t want to sell SL without windows ;-( so they do everyting to avoid it..

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