Microsoft Nurtures Linux Silverlight Port

Redmond contributes technical guidance to the Mono Project

David Worthington
August 9, 2007 —  When Microsoft chief software architect Ray Ozzie unveiled Silverlight at MIX07, he vowed that it would be a cross-platform technology. It appears as if the software giant is making good on that pledge: SD Times has learned that some of Microsoft’s top developers have provided technical guidance for a Linux implementation of Silverlight.

Miguel de Icaza, vice president of develop platforms for Novell and leader of the Mono project, said that Microsoft offered up its opinion and guidance on how to build a Mono-based implementation of Silverlight that runs on Linux. Microsoft is also soliciting contributions to the Silverlight platform from the open-source community, according to de Icaza.

Scott Guthrie, general manager within the Microsoft Developer Division, pulled Icaza aside during a Microsoft workshop on dynamic languages to collaborate on Mono’s “Moonlight” implementation of Silverlight, Icaza said, adding that the Moonlight project was strongly inspired by Guthrie’s recommendations.

Indeed, the collaboration has been ongoing. The Moonlight product team has made requests for resources; Microsoft has put them in touch with the “right people” inside and outside of Microsoft, according to Icaza.

The Mono team has been invited to participate in a roadmap presentation for Silverlight next week and will provide its recommendations for the platform. “Novell and Microsoft have an ongoing relationship,” Icaza noted.

Icaza also divulged details about the Silverlight product roadmap, although Microsoft would not confirm those details. He said that a refresh of Silverlight 1.1, a slimmed-down implementation of the .NET framework for the Web, is slated for September.

The refresh will incorporate new controls, address a keyboard handling issue, and add support for data binding with the integration of Language Integrated Query (LINQ), Icaza added.

Microsoft spokesperson Nick Sherrill declined to provide specific comment about Moonlight, stating that Microsoft is pleased with the interest Silverlight has generated within the developer and designer communities.

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