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Intel Is Porting Silverlight to Moblin, a Linux OS

by Abel Avram on Sep 24, 2009 |

Intel has showcased IIS Smooth Streaming running on Windows 7 but also on a Moblin device based on their Atom processor on September 23rd during Intel Development Forum 2009. This indicates an effort to port Silverlight to Linux separate than Moonlight.

Intel wants to “fuel the growth of Intel Atom-based products designed for the mobile lifestyle”, said Renee James, VP and GM at Intel Software and Services Group, because "the netbook has become one of the most popular consumer devices in the market today, but its true potential has been limited by applications that are not optimized for its mobility and smaller screen size.” Several large computer manufacturers have announced the launch of netbooks based on Moblin: Dell, Acer, Asus, and Samsung. Several Linux distributors, like Canonical, CS2C, Linpus, Mandriva, Novell, Phoenix and Turbolinux, have also announced operating systems based on Moblin 2.

Atom-based devices can run Windows but also Moblin, an open source custom Fedora-based Linux operating system targeted at netbooks, handhelds, smart phones and car computers. Intel started the Moblin project in 2007 then passed it over to the Linux Foundation.

Intel demonstrated IIS Smooth Streaming running both on Windows 7 and Moblin on Atom devices, and promised to make Silverlight available to be run on Moblin early next year. This is done by having a partnership with Microsoft which gives the Silverlight’s source code and test suites to Intel which in return will give Microsoft a version of Silverlight ported to Moblin. When that happens, applications developed for Windows/Atom will be also running on Moblin. Microsoft sees this as

a clear extension of our current efforts with Novell where we are building an open source implementation of Silverlight called “Moonlight” that is targeted at the broad range of Linux–based PCs.   

The reason of having yet another port of Silverlight to Linux is unclear but it might be pushed by Intel who wants to support Flash on Atom devices and Microsoft might not want to miss this opportunity, especially since the whole porting effort is supported by Intel. It is also not clear if Silverlight applications will run on a .NET runtime or will be ported to Moblin native code. The later seems more likely.

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