At an event to promote Microsoft technologies in general, and the Silverlight cross-platform interface runtime in particular, Microsoft France asked Miguel de Icaza, head of the Mono project at Novell to demonstrate Silverlight running on Linux, using Mono's open-source implementation of Microsoft's .Net technology.
Microsoft has said it has no intention of porting Silverlight to Linux itself, considering it sufficient to distribute it on Windows and Mac OS X
Given that, De Icaza decided that his team would take on the task - although, he said, "when Marc Jalabert [manager for platforms and ecosystems at Microsoft France] called me three weeks ago, we had nothing...."
After three weeks of development (“night and day") the Mono team built a prototype of Moonlight, or Silverlight for Mono. De Icaza, visibly pleased to return to his Suse machine after a few minutes using one running Vista, asked the audience to excuse the design of the demonstrations before using it to show a few animations: "Not very exciting," he said, but at least showing that it's feasible.