Moonlight: Silverlight for Linux Gets Hardware Acceleration

Maybe Silverlight isn’t dead just yet: Moonlight, the open source implementation of Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Silverlight for Linux, is getting hardware acceleration for 3-D animation and video rendering, according to the well-known free software programmer Miguel de Icaza (hat tip to

Icaza, who is the driving force behind a Linux adaptation of .NET dubbed Mono, wrote on his blog this week that the Moonlight hardware acceleration is actually superior to that of Silverlight. Icaza also filmed two demo videos of the new feature, one of which you’ll find embedded below:


There have been indications in recent months that Microsoft is de-emphasizing Silverlight, and moving many of its development efforts to HTML5 instead. A Microsoft exec was recently quoted saying that the company is “shifting away” from from Silverlight as a cross-platform development framework, with HTML5 becoming its primary focus.

But Microsoft is still hiring Silverlight developers, and two recently surfaced job postings actually mention plans to bring Silverlight to the Xbox 360. That could make it Microsoft’s go-to framework for apps on mobile devices for Windows Phone 7, as well as TV apps on its game platform. Having hardware acceleration capabilities available in Moonlight could also help Microsoft or interested third parties to bring Silverlight to embedded devices, such as mobile handsets running Google’s (s GOOG) Android OS.

The code with the new features is already available online, but it’s unclear yet when it will officially be available as part of Moonlight.

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