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Moonlight is being jointly developed by Microsoft and Novell to:
- allow Silverlight applications to run on Linux
- offer a Linux SDK (software development kit) for Silverlight applications
- use the existing Silverlight engine to develop desktop applications.
Like Silverlight, Moonlight manifests as a runtime environment for browser-based rich Internet applications (RIAs) and, similarly, adds to animation, video playback and vector graphics capabilities. Developers are also creating desktop widgets called "desklets" to extend Moonlight applications beyond the browser.