Moonlight 1.0, an open source implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight rich media application platform, was announced Wednesday for Unix and Linux systems, said Miguel de Icaza, the Novell developer who has been in charge of the project.
Moonlight is offered as a plugin that can be used in Firefox 2 and 3 on Unix systems using the X11 windowing system.
[ As Microsoft expands its RIA platform's reach, it is also seeing Silverlight adoption get hampered by the economic crisis. ]
Moonlight runs on both 32- and 64-bit systems. Moonlight 1.0, which was based on Silverlight 1.0, actually was released on January 20, for streaming of the Presidential inauguration.
Developers now are working on Moonlight 2.0, which will be compatible with Silverlight 2.0. "It's a very nice upgrade over Silverlight 1.1," offering easy development of GUI applications, de Icaza said in an interview on Wednesday.
A preview of Moonlight 2.0 is planned for release at the Mix09 conference in Las Vegas in mid-March. The general release is planned for the end of the year.
Also on the schedule for the Moonlight and Mono team is version 2.4 of Mono, an open source, cross-platform implementation of the Microsoft .Net development framework. Due in March, version 2.4 will feature a revamped ASP.Net stack that is many times faster than the current version, de Icaza said. ASP.Net is Microsoft's technology for building Web sites.