So does netflix's move away from silverlight mean that we will soon see netflix on linux?
If it happens, yes, but there will be some form of DRM added, so that implies a proprietary dedicated application to run Netflix, just like the Steam client, because GNU/Linux doesn't know DRM natively (even though Canonical wants to change that with Ubuntu).
If Netflix goes HTML5, which is an open standard, that will be quite a substantial problem, so IF the GNU/Linux Netflix client comes, it will probably be a lot later than the clients for closed source platforms.
If the Moonlight plugin had the yes from Microsoft everything would be fine.
Surely it would not, moonlight is a dead end, the drive behind the moonlight project is absolutely gone, devs have moved on. It's not so much about the technology, it's more about the DRM and the commercial thinking instead of providing an open source solution. Microsoft Silverlight is a dead end and has been a dead end from the start, because it was completely superfluous, too little too late.
The Silverlight open source implementation, Moonlight, was a project from the Mono community, lead by Miguel de Icaza, the Mexican developer that co-started the Gnome project. Miguel de Icaza is a brilliant developer with some great and not so great ideas, but he's always considered his open source development activities as a way to try to land a job in the US, after he failed to apply succesfully for a job at Microsoft in the nineties. He's always wanted to implement Microsoft compatible technologies in linux, which testifies of his lack of belief in an open source software success, even at a point where the open source model had been proven hugely succesful and more efficient for technological and commercial evolution. When he was still working on Gnome, its interface was very much inspired by the Microsoft Windows interface, and it wasn't after he became inactive in Gnome that Gnome evolved to the more modern, more user friendly and more aesthetically pleasing desktop environment we know now. The most work he did was on the mono-project, which is a linux implementation of Microsoft's .NET framework, but in linux it could never convince, and the company he started to develop it was taken over by Novell. After that he tried to implement the Microsoft open document standard in linux, which obviously also failed because the GNU/Linux open document standard was already an industry standard by that time, much more than any microsoft format. When that failed, he tried to implement microsoft silverlight in linux with moonlight, but as aforementioned, that didn't turn out to be useful either. And since last year, de Icaza has turned his back completely on GNU/Linux and Microsoft, probably because he's completely desillusioned, and has shifted to the Mac-platform. A few months ago, his unfounded criticism of the open source community earned him huge flaming by a huge majority of the world's developer community, and he's pretty much burned now, and it's pretty unlikely that he will get anything done from this point on. It's safe to say that both microsoft silverlight and the open source implementation thereof, moonlight, are end-of-life.
Actually you can run Netflix on Linux... http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/11/how-to-use-netflix-on-ubuntu
You can run anything on linux, except... it's not legal... and who cares right? In Switzerland, it's legal to download anything that's made available on the internet, but it's not legal to share non-free or owned content. Hence the very convenient Swiss websites that offer just about anything in terms of movies and series that are known to mankind, in various different languages, free and fast, with a vastly more comprehensive media offering... so why would netflix be interesting?
Im having good luck with netflix in a virtualbox session right now...
That is legal, but not everyone has the right hardware to make it happen with fluid video quality.
Anyway, netflix is not an issue outside of North-America anyway, it will be hard to motivate the open source community to invest major assets into bringing netflix natively to GNU/Linux.
Newell said that Steambox will be able to run Netflix in-browser, and that Steambox will be shipping with Linux. So he hasn't come right out and said it, but it seems a reasonable deduction that whatever OS Valve makes based on Linux, it will be able to use Netflix.
That is true, netflix is moving away from silverlight and moving on to HTML5, and it will run in the special edition firefox browser that is already part of the steam client in linux, which allows for DRM-ed content viewing in the store now already where this would be impossible otherwise. HTML5 as such runs on any linux system natively. Microsoft has already announced two months ago that they will cease support for Silverlight anyway.
Remains the fact that it's a local offering, netflix will not be offered in the majority of countries unless they offer more content that is suitable for other than north-american cultures.