Moonlight, Microsoft Patent Covenant Updates
Just two days after Mono 2.6 was rolled out, which has been widely discussed within our forums, Miguel de Icaza has a few more Microsoft / Mono related announcements. Miguel this morning has announced that Moonlight 2.0 is complete, there is a new collaboration agreement between Microsoft and Novell to bring the Silverlight 3.0 and 4.0 feature sets to Moonlight, and Microsoft has updated its patent covenant that concerns Moonlight's distribution abilities.
Moonlight 2.0 has been in beta for a few months and it implements most of Microsoft's Silverlight 2.0 functionality along with some early 3.0 features with regards to the pluggable pipeline, easing animation functions, partial out-of-browser support, writable bitmaps, and new data-binding features. Moonlight 2.0 is built upon Mono 2.6 and also has its Gtk+ and Cairo dependencies.
Going forward, Microsoft and Novell are working quickly to support more of the Silvelight 3.0 functionality and to ensure that it works with some of the most prominent Silverlight applications, for which Sunday Night Football, the Winter Olympics, and Bing's Photosynth are named. Microsoft will also continue to work closely with Novell on Silverlight 4.0 support within Moonlight.
Microsoft has updated their Silverlight patent covenant agreement for Moonlight to now allow for third-party distribution of this package, which could allow for this plug-in to be installed through your distribution's package repository rather than needing to obtain Moonlight through Novell. Any third-party can now redistribute Moonlight without fear of backlash by Microsoft, but the third-party version will not offer the limited multimedia codec support found in Novell's version. Vorbis, Ogg, and Theora are the free software formats that can be found in the third-party version while all of the more popular, patent-laced formats will not be available by default.
Details with Miguel's comments can be found on his blog.
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