Silverlight is released for Windows, promised for Linux

Microsoft’s Silverlight is now fully released. Scott Guthrie’s blog has all the details, including what to me is the biggest news: an official partnership with Novell and Mono to support Moonlight, an implementation of Silverlight for Linux. Microsoft will supply the media codecs, while Novell/Mono will do the rest.

This is a major step forward for Microsoft. I have been blogging for years about how Microsoft would benefit by giving official support to Mono, and therefore promoting the .NET platform. Of course it is a two-edged sword. Mono is a competitor, and helps companies switch from Windows to Linux. On the other hand, Silverlight has no chance of broad adoption unless it is taken seriously as a cross-platform runtime, and supporting Linux will help a great deal with that.

Silverlight 1.0 does video, multimedia and vector graphics, but does not include the .NET runtime. This is to follow in Silverlight 1.1, which will therefore be of more interest to developers.

I see quite a bit of misunderstanding of how Silverlight relates to the full version of .NET. As I understand it, even Silverlight 1.1 makes no use whatsoever of the full .NET runtime or WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation). It is entirely self-sufficient, so you can run Silverlight 1.0  or 1.1 on a Windows box which does not have .NET installed.

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