As early as the the celebration of the second anniversary of the Microsoft and Novell partnership inked back in November 2006, the Redmond company announced the delivery of the first Beta of Moonlight. As an integral part of the Linux and Windows interoperability agreement, Novell took it upon itself to extend Silverlight to Linux and Unix. In Microsoft's quest to deliver a truly cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device technology, Moonlight complements the Silverlight releases for Windows and Mac OS X.
While for the Windows and Mac OS platforms Silverlight has already reached version 2, with Microsoft moving onward to v.3, on Linux and Unix the implementation of the technology is a tad late. However, the Moonlight project, led by Miguel de Icaza, has finally delivered the Beta 1 bits.
“The Moonlight project, which aims to produce a 100% open source implementation compatible with the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in, with Microsoft's official support, has reached an important stage of its development. Moonlight 1.0 version Beta 1 is now available for download, ” said Christophe Lauer, technical specialist for Windows Live web development technologies. (mind my French is a tad rusty, so the translation is bound not to be 100% accurate)
Moonlight 1.0 Beta 1 is supported on both Firefox 2.0 and Firefox 3.0 running on the 32-bit variants of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, OpenSUSE 11, Ubuntu 8.04, Fedora Core 9 and on the 64-bit versions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and OpenSUSE 11 (just Firefox 3.0). The recommendation for Linux users is to run Firefox 3.0 and not 2.0, because of support for the Windowless operation, what the company referred to as a common feature used by Silverlight applications.
A few 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Linux distributions are supported. If you happen to use Fedora Core 9, Ubuntu 8.04 or OpenSUSE 11, in 32 or 64-bits, with Firefox 2 or Firefox 3, you shouldn't have any problems.
Moonlight 1.0 Beta 1 is available for download here.