We are pleased to announce the availability of Moonlight 2, an open source Linux implementation of Silverlight first announced by Microsoft and Novell in September of 2007. Moonlight is the first and only open source project that provides Linux users access to Silverlight content. Microsoft has provided Novell with access to its test suites for Silverlight, and provides Linux end users of Moonlight with free access to the Microsoft Media Pack, a set of licensed media codecs for video and audio. In addition, Microsoft and Novell are also announcing the expansion of their collaboration on Moonlight to include support for Moonlight implementations of Silverlight 3 and Silverlight 4. As part of the companies’ interoperability agreement, Microsoft will deliver new test suites and specifications for Silverlight 3 and 4 to Novell.

Moonlight 2 is compatible with Microsoft Silverlight 2 and includes some features of Silverlight 3, including support for Bitmap APIs, file dialogs, easing functions, pluggable media pipeline and custom Codecs. Moonlight 2 offers better streaming of multimedia content based on the quality of the user's connections. In addition, this release embeds Mono runtime functionality, which allows developers to target Linux with rich Internet applications using a wide variety of programming languages, including C#, Ruby, Python and Javascript.

Moonlight development is quickly following the innovation in Silverlight with each release. A preview release of Moonlight 3 will be made available in the first quarter of 2010 with a final release scheduled for the third quarter of 2010. Moonlight 4 will follow shortly thereafter.

In response to feedback from the community, Microsoft has also extended its Patent Covenant to End Users of Moonlight. The covenant is no longer limited to users that obtain Moonlight from Novell or its channel, but now covers users who obtain Moonlight from any third party, including other Linux distributors. Media Codecs for MP3 and VC1, and in the future H.264 and AAC, are supported through the Microsoft Media Pack, a Microsoft-delivered set of media codes that offer optimized and licensed decodecs to every Linux user who obtains Moonlight from Novell.

To download or learn more about Moonlight, visit http://go-mono.com/moonlight.

Please let us know your thoughts about Moonlight.