Microsoft's Flash alternative may bring the popular Netflix on-demand movie streaming service to Linux desktops. The Netflix service uses DRM (digital rights management) technology currently available only to Windows Media Player users, but the Novell-sponsored "Moonlight" implementation for Linux could widen Netflix's channel, according to reports.
According to a story at bit-tech.net, Silverlight's DRM implementation works independently of the underlying OS. This distinguishes it from that in WMP, which works only on Windows, according to the story, here.
News site BetaNews, meanwhile, reports yesterday that Netflix will embrace Silverlight (story). Initially available to a small test segment, the service will be available on Silverlight to all Netflix subscribers by year's end, the story says.
Silverlight is currently available for both Windows and Mac OS (Intel platforms only). However, the open source "Moonlight" project is working to bring the service to Linux desktops, too. Using codecs contributed by Microsoft, the implementation is a generation behind other platforms, however. For more on the current status of the project, refer to its homepage, here. Or, see our recent interview with Miguel de Icaza, founder of the Mono project (from which Moonlight is an off-shoot).
Another option for Linux users -- or anyone wanting the best experience with the Netflix service -- is the $100 Roku set-top box.