Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2013 - 02:25 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: silverlight, Pipelight, Netflix
Netflix is moving away from Silverlight just as Pipelight chases down Microsoft's web framework. Pipelight is actually two applications: a plugin for native Linux NPAPI-compatible web browsers (four common ones are Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and Opera) and a fake web browser for Windows run within Wine. These components form both ends of a tunnel between Silverlight and many Linux web browsers.
The project directly acknowledges other solutions for Netflix on Linux, such as Netflix Desktop, right within their announcement post. Prior workarounds required web browsers, themselves, to be compiled as Windows programs and run, whole, within Wine. This approach permits a native web browser to siphon the results from outside virtualization.
Netflix, the driving purpose for this project, is moving towards HTML5 for its content delivery. W3C defines standards for DRM to hook natively into the web browser but that does not mean every browser will be able to implement all the components for that DRM. Content "protection" providers often require a royalty for their implementations even if the browser is set up to accept it. Unless each component of the DRM are released under a permissive license and free of patent royalties, moving away from Silverlight could make it even harder for Linux users to experience Netflix than it is now.
It will either become default or immensely more hard, once again. Pipelight is available now from its project page.
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