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Light your day with Silverlight

Written by IT News on 12:36 AM

Sooner application on the web will be more fun and easy to use. Why?

Microsoft introducting Silverlight (formerly code-named "WPF/E.")

What is Silverlight?

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of Microsoft .NET–based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.

Silverlight works with any web server just like HTML. Video and audio content can also be progressively downloaded and played back from any Web server platform. Benefits of Windows server-based distribution of Silverlight applications include Windows Media Services with Fast Stream (instant playback) and Fast reconnect technologies, lower distribution costs (streaming users only download what they watch), and tap into the full Windows server ecosystem of platform components and partner solutions. Those benefits will be enhanced in the future version of Windows Server (code name “Longhorn”) and with Internet Information Server 7 (IIS).

I think the vision of Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, Visual Basic .NET, C#, Python, and Ruby and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight media capabilities include fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality audio and video to all major browsers including Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Windows Internet Explorer running on Mac OS or Microsoft Windows. By using Microsoft Expression Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio, designers and developers can collaborate more effectively using the skills they have today to light up the Web of tomorrow.


Key benefits of Silverlight include:
1. Compelling cross-platform user experiences
2. Flexible Programming Model with Collaboration Tools
3. High-quality media, low-cost delivery
4. Connected to data, servers, and services

Although Silverlight Beta releases are for evaluation and testing purposes, it has a go-live license enabling commercial deployment. Note that although commercial deployments are enabled, the software is still in Beta and the support is thus limited.

I recommend to immediate try the Beta version before it expires on August 1, 2007. An update will be available prior to the expiration. Upon expiration, the client will prompt you with an expiration notice and ask you to upgrade. Web developers will be able to offer the update programmatically, making the experience easy for their users.

As menthioned at the official web site, Silverlight on schedule to ship in the first half of this year.

The Silverlight 1.1 Alpha includes all the features available in Silverlight 1.0 Beta plus a number of new features focused primarily on improving the developer productivity and power, including:
  • Managed code support
  • Support for dynamic languages including managed Microsoft JScript and Python
  • Rich UI control model based on WPF
  • Improved networking stack with support for REST, RSS, JSON, and POX
  • Enhanced, two-way HTML/AJAX bridge
  • Comprehensive and consistent base class library
  • Support for LINQ (LINQ to Objects, LINQ to XML)
System requirements:

Windows-based Personal Computer

  • Supported operating systems: Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Supported browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Windows Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.8, and Firefox 2.0.x
  • Minimum recommended hardware: Intel Pentium III 450-megahertz (MHz) or faster, equivalent processor
    128 megabytes (MB) of RAM

Official websites: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/default.aspx
Download link: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/install.aspx
Tools & SDK link: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/tools.aspx




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