Friday, 15 June 2012

News: Linux Silverlight Plugin Moonlight Abandoned

It's been on the cards for a couple of months, but I waited until there was no doubt about it. Since OMG Ubuntu reported it a few days ago, we might as well acknowledge that Moonlight has gone.

With the reluctance of the Open Source community to embrace any proprietary-led  web-platforms by Microsoft, this is hardly a surprise. The bid for web-domination by MS using Silverlight itself was doomed early on because few on Windows wanted to cede control to Redmond either.

This has come about because the Silverlight roadmap has effectively ended at Microsoft, leaving Moonlight to run out of road.


As reported by Joey Sneddon, June 4, 2012:

"Moonlight, the third-party open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight plugin, has been discontinued due to a lack of demand.

The project, created in 2009, provided Linux users with a means to accessing websites and web content created using Silverlight.

Once touted as a rival for Adobe’s Flash, Silverlight is in danger of being canned itself. Wikipedia reports that, as of August 2011, less than 0.3% of websites make use of the technology, compared to Adobe’s Flash 23%.

With such poor adoption for the official version it makes the demise of Moonlight less surprising.

Putting developer time, resource and money into providing access to a fading, irrelevant web technology makes no sense.

The CTO of Mono development company Xamarin, Miguel de Icaza, explained the reasoning further in an interview with Infoq.com: -

"We have abandoned Moonlight.

Silverlight has not gained much adoption on the web, so it did not become the must-have technology that I thought would have to become. And Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming."

It’s unlikely that anyone will miss Silverlight, let alone Moonlight.