New Release of Moonlight Now Available

December 17, 2009

Microsoft and Novell expand collaboration on Moonlight to support Silverlight 3 and Silverlight 4 specifications


The Mono® Project, an open-source initiative sponsored by Novell, today announced the availability of Moonlight™ 2, an open source Linux* implementation of Silverlight* from Novell. Silverlight is Microsoft's cross-platform browser plug-in for designing, developing and delivering visually rich applications and experiences on and off the Web. 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.

In response to feedback from the community, with this release, 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.

Moonlight 2 is interoperable 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. This release of Moonlight offers better streaming of multimedia content based on the quality of the user's connections. In addition, this release embeds Mono runtime functionality into the Moonlight distribution, 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 catching up to Microsoft 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.

Launched in September 2007, Moonlight is part of a technical collaboration under the interoperability agreement signed by Novell and Microsoft in November 2006. Microsoft has provided Novell with access to its test suites and specifications 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.

The first version of Moonlight has proven successful. As part of its efforts to hold the most open and accessible inauguration in history, the U.S. Presidential Inaugural Committee used Moonlight to stream the swearing in ceremonies of President Barack Obama. To date, Novell has seen 1.3 million downloads of Moonlight.

To download or learn more about Moonlight, visit For more information about open source projects that Novell sponsors and contributes to, visit

Novell and Mono are registered trademarks and Moonlight is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.