05.22.09

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If Flash is More Open Than Moonlight, Does That Make Microsoft Moonlight Proprietary?

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the same vein, if Novell and Microsoft call it "Microsoft Moonlight", does it make Moonlight developers de facto Microsoft employees?

Microsoft Moonlight

Summary: A look at Novell’s Microsoft-esque activities this week

IT cannot be emphasised strongly enough that Flash is not like Silverlight. These are two very different animals and Microsoft Moonlight is no better. Here is a good new article that goes through some of the key points:

Flash isn’t going open source, but it may already be more open than Moonlight

[...]

On top of that, it’s important to note that Moonlight isn’t completely open. Like Flash, Moonlight makes use of third-party codecs that are closed.

Want more good news? Microsoft only “covenants to not sue” over Moonlight applications that utilize it 1) as an in-browser plugin 2) on a personal computer and 3) aren’t licensed as GPLv3 or a “similar license.” The icing on the cake? That protection only applies to Novell and its subsidiaries – so your independent app wouldn’t count, unless Novell owns 50% of you.

Adobe, on the other hand, grants full patent use to anyone who builds anything with Flash. So while you can develop and sell whatever the heck you want using the technologies that power Flash and Adobe will post about it on their Twitter account, developing with Moonlight could result in nasty legal proceedings.

So which platform is really more “open?” Flash or Moonlight?

Looking at the news this week, watch just what else Novell is doing. Visual Studio plug-in.

Novell’s Mono team was on hand to demonstrate a Visual Studio plug-in for Mono code development. Applications are deployed and debugged in Mono by using a Linux virtual machine. The company also previewed Mono Moonlight 2.0, an open-source variation of Microsoft Silverlight 2.

Watch this new comment:

wow, just like iFolder from Novell. If Novell just lost something else to Ubuntu. Novell, stop acting like Micro$oft, please?

Also found a couple of days ago: Novell keeps obtaining software patents. The latest additions:

Methods and systems to fast fill media players , patent No. 7,536,474, invented by Jamshid Mahdavi of San Jose, Calif., assigned to Novell, Inc. of Provo.

Parallelizing multiple boot images with virtual machines , patent No. 7,536,541, invented by Scott A. Isaacson of Kamuela, Hawaii, assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

This hopefully sheds light on what kind of company Novell really is. Every single week it’s just like that. A lot of Novell’s revenue comes from Microsoft.

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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5 Comments

  1. Don said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Gravatar

    Yea, Adobe are totally the God Guys(tm):

    “Despite promising in January to open RTMP, Adobe has issued a DMCA take down request for an open source implementation of the protocol. The former SourceForge project page for rtmpdump now reports ‘Invalid Project.’ rtmpdump has been used in tools such as get_iplayer and get-flash-videos. Adobe is no stranger to the DMCA, having previously used it against Dmitry Sklyarov.”

    http://linuxcentre.net/adobe-has-issued-a-dmca-removal-request-for-rtmpdump/

    Oh snap, I guess they aren’t the God Guys(tm) afterall

  2. Don said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Gravatar

    Apparently I can’t type “Good” on this keyboard. Oh well.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Adobe was never the Good GuysTM. Think along the lines of not as evil.

  3. Don said,

    May 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m not so sure they are “not as evil” considering the most recent attack from them. Seems to me they are /more/ evil than Microsoft in the vector graphics browser plugin arena.

    Also, seeing as how Flash isn’t open source, it can’t be considered “more open” than Moonlight which is LGPL – if you don’t like the Microsoft codecs, use ffmpeg (which is what the free software clones of Flash use too).

    Sounds to me like you are trying to wage a FUD war against the Moonlight guys.

    That said, I don’t plan on bothering to read your garbage in the future.

  4. JohnD said,

    May 23, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Gravatar

    On the subject of patents:
    What should Novell do? Should they stop obtaining patents and just leave them open to MS? I think the real focus should be on how Novell is using them, not that they are obtaining them.
    Let me know when Novell start filing patent suits against Linux developers.

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