Software giant Microsoft has issued a new patent covenant in which the company has pledged not to sue the users of third party distributions of the Moonlight 2 plug-in which will allow users to access videos, applications and content developed for Silverlight platform for Linux.
The Moonlight 2 plug-in was created by Novell and the Mono Project and was released on December 17 with the intention to allow multimedia content and WMA files developed on Silverlight, Microsoft's Rich Internet Application (RIA), to run on Linux operating systems.
The new "Patent Covenant to End Users of Moonlight" will cover the end users of the Moonlight 2 plug-in who have obtained it from other distributors besides Novell and Mono.
The patent covenant says, "Microsoft, on behalf of itself and its Subsidiaries, hereby covenants not to sue End Users for infringement under Necessary Claims of Microsoft and its Subsidiaries on account of such End Users" use of Moonlight Implementations to extent originally provided by Novell".
Interestingly, the patent covenant regarding Moonlight 1 and 2 covered only those users who had obtained the plug-in only from Novell and Mono and with the issue of this new patent covenant, Microsoft has showed willingness to expand the user base for its Silverlight platform.
Silverlight is supposed to be a replacement for Adobe's Ubiquitous Flash platform but this is far from being a won case. While Adobe is present on all major platforms (and most smaller environments as well), Silverlight has seen the number of platforms on which it can operate increase only marginally.