Moonlight, an open source version of Silverlight is launched by Novell. Moonlight 2.0 is compatible with Silverlight 2.0 and includes some features of Silverlight 3, such as support for Bitmap APIs, file dialogs, pluggable media pipeline. Moonlight 2.0 also offers better streaming of multimedia content based on the quality of the user’s connections. Moonlight development now closely following Microsoft Silverlight release. Moonlight 3.0 alpha will be available in Q1/2010.
Microsoft is indeed going after the rich content market at full speed. Unlike Flash, Moonlight is open source so users can download the Linux source and customize it for their own platforms. Moonlight development can be done using popular Eclipse platform or developers can use Visual Studio. At the moment Silverlight is still nowhere close to Flash in terms of installed PC user base, but adaption of Silverlight in popular sporting events such as Winter Olympics will drive users to install Silverlight on PCs. This in turn will attract developers to write more applications based on Silverlight. Microsoft is also planning mobile Silverlight release although at the moment it is far behind what Flash Lite offers on mobile platform.