MoonLight, the Linux version of Microsoft’s Silverlight is well named – it is a distinctly lesser Light in comparison to the original SilverLight. This is the classic Microsoft approach to cross platform development of Windows programs:
1)Do not guarantee and do it yourself, have others do so [Novell];
2)Delay the start-up so the cross platform version is always behind the latest Microsoft one;
3)Always guarantee that it is impossible to deliver Windows matching or beating software on the cross platform edition.
The following excellent article on ArsTechnica describes this strategy to a T regarding the new MoonLight 2 which tries to deliver SilverLight 2 features while Redmond has already delivered a significantly updated Silverlight 3. See here for the progression of Silverlight features and editions.
Microsoft is still nursing the notion that Windows is the OS platform of choice despite :
1)the ongoing disaster that is Windows Vista and is only partially alleviated with Windows 7;
2)the emergence of Mobile and Netbook platforms as the most prolifically used in the World;
3)not having a within Windows uniformity of operation/look and feel – let alone uniform development code;
4)not having any cross platform capabilities even on the browser where Redmond is woefully behind all the 4 major browser vendors.
Redmond continues to turn a blind eye to the notion that Uniform and Cross platform development means both users and developers want substantially the same code, interface software and user experience for Mobile, Desktop and just about any”smart device”. Allowance will be made for games and special controllers; but if there is a keyboard and mouse/touchpad, users want familiar experiences.
Microsoft will lose its OS platform hegemony based on not meeting the needs of developers and end users who are using different devices everywhere and want not uniform but low learning costs for cross platform experiences. Meanwhile developers want to reduce their costs and expand their platforms’ reach with much greater ease than is currently possible if they choose the Windows stack. Is this the prescription for Apple and Google bigtime opportunity?