Silverlight on Linux: Moonlight or moonshine?

Microsoft’s press release for Silverlight 2.0 says this:

Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.

The use of the present tense for Linux support is … misleading, to be generous. I tried visiting the official Silverlight site on Ubuntu. Here’s what I’m offered as downloads:

Hmmm. If I go to the official Moonlight site, I see this:

Note that not even Silverlight 1.0 is fully released; further, it says “no video or mp3 playback is enabled”. The installers are said to be incomplete.

I asked about this at the press conference; the answer was “we’re working on it” and “as soon as possible” and “Miguel is speaking at PDC”.

That’s fair enough and I understand that these things take time. But if you read the press release, you might suppose that a Linux user could use it now. Other than for geeky and experimental users, that is not the case.

2 thoughts on “Silverlight on Linux: Moonlight or moonshine?”

  1. Hey Tim!

    We are putting the finishing touches on the upcoming Moonlight release.

    I agree that until we push all the packages to the public, it does not have the same kind of user experience that Silverlight users get on Windows and Mac.

    But at least Linux users today have the choice of getting precompiled packages from various popular packaging services.


  2. Thank Miguel. I appreciate all your work on this and I’m sure you will deliver a good product in time. I’m concerned though that Microsoft is happy to use Linux support as a PR checkbox, but gives it pretty much zero visibility in reality.

    For example, I’ve just looked at the official Get Started page and there isn’t even a link to Moonlight right now:


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