Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Silverlight 2, its solution for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences through a Web browser.
According to Microsoft, Silverlight 2 delivers new features and tools that enable designers and developers to better collaborate while creating more accessible, more discoverable and more secure user experiences.
“We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft, in the press release. “Silverlight represents a radical improvement in the way developers and designers build applications on the Web. This release will further accelerate our efforts to make Silverlight, Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio the preeminent solutions for the creation and delivery of media and rich Internet application experiences.”
Silverlight adoption continues to grow rapidly, with penetration in some countries approaching 50 percent and a growing ecosystem that includes more than 150 partners and tens of thousands of applications. During the 17 days of the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, NBCOlympics.com, powered by Silverlight, had more than 50 million unique visitors, resulting in 1.3 billion page views, 70 million video streams and 600 million minutes of video watched, increasing the average time on the site (from 3 minutes to 27 minutes) and Silverlight market penetration in the U.S. by more than 30 percent. Broadcasters in France (France Televisions SA), the Netherlands (NOS), Russia (Sportbox.ru) and Italy (RAI) also chose Silverlight to deliver Olympics coverage online. In addition, leading companies such as CBS College Sports, Blockbuster Inc., Hard Rock Cafe International Inc., Yahoo! Japan, AOL LLC, Toyota Motor Corp., HSN Inc. and Tencent Inc. are building their next-generation experiences using Silverlight.
MacDailyNews Note: NBC dumps Microsoft’s Silverlight after Olympics; goes back to Adobe’s Flash for NFL – September 08, 2008
Microsoft also will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary. The SCP, which will augment the built-in control set in Silverlight, will be released under the “Microsoft Permissive License,” an Open Source Initiative-approved license, and includes controls such as DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete. The Silverlight XAML vocabulary specification, released under the Open Specification Promise (OSP), will better enable third-party ISVs to create products that can read and write XAML for Silverlight.
Beyond funding development in the free Eclipse IDE, Microsoft currently delivers tools for Silverlight with Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2. In addition, support is now extended to Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition, which is a free download.
Acording to Microsoft, highlights of new Silverlight 2 features include the following:
• .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.
• Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
• Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.
• Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.
• Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.
• Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.
• Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.
• Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.
• Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.
• Forfeiture of your eternal soul upon first launch.
Silverlight 2 will be available for download on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight will be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 2.
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