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Microsoft Silverlight 1.0

Silverlight“Light up the web” or “Experience what you’re missing” are the slogans of this relatively new product from Microsoft.

Few days back, Microsoft released their flagship interactive media browser plugin – Silverlight. Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E) is a direct competitor to Adobe’s FlashPlayer. Pretty much like Flash, Silverlight is a complement and runtime for Internet Web browsers whereby users can view videos, vector graphics, text, 2D animations and render Rich Internet Applications (RIA). According to Microsoft it’s a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in capable of delivering the next generation media experiences.


Besides being a direct competitor to “Adobe Flash Player”, Silverlight competes with others applications such as the presentation complement of AJAX, The Sun Microsystems JavaFX (launched recently), and others. Silverlight will also provide DRM (Digital Rights Management) with feature parity with Windows and Mac according to the Microsoft’s press release.


Silverlight support compressed video format such as Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MP3 audio content working with all the compatible web browsers (Internet explorer 6 SP2, IE7, Firefox 1.5, Firefox 2.0, Safari) without requiring any media player such as Windows Media Player, Real Player or some browser plug-in.

The XML (Extensible Markup Language) play very well in this game as Silverlight makes it possible to load content dynamically using XML manipulated through a DOM (Document Object Model).

FEATURES

For Microsoft, Silverlight is compelling, flexible, efficient, connected and streaming. Some of the characteristics and features are;

  • Compelling Cross-platform User Experiences: Deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web, Seamless, fast installation for users, Consistent experiences between Windows-based and Macintosh computers, Create richer, more compelling Web experiences, Stunning vector-based graphics, media, text, animation, and overlays, Enhance existing standards/AJAX-based applications.
  • Flexible Programming Model with Collaboration Tools: Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Simple integration with existing Web technologies and assets, Choice of development languages, Role-specific tools for both designers and developers, Consistent presentation model by using XAML, Extensible control model, Dramatically improved performance for AJAX–enabled Web sites.
  • High Quality, Low Cost Media: Unified media format that scales from high definition (HD) to mobile, Add vector-based graphics and overlays to media, Flexible ad-insertion solutions with video and animation, Lower-cost media streaming with Emmy Award–winning Windows Media technologies, Broad ecosystem of media tools, servers, and solutions, Microsoft Play-Ready content-access technology, Powerful encoding tools for live and on-demand publishing of media experiences.
  • Connected to Data, Servers, and Services: Easily mash-up and incorporate services and data, Increase discoverability, Rapidly scale applications with Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live.
  • Steamming with Windows Live: Enable rapid application development, Create and deliver differentiated user experiences, Get global scale quickly and cost effectively.

FLASH vs. SILVERLIGHT

Well, Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash are overwhelmed in a great battle. Flash have the challenge to prove they are the leaders and continue being the leaders. Microsoft have the money, the marketing strategy and influence to make Silverlight a successful tool. Everybody is asking if Flash and Silverlight are similar; and effectively in general both tools have the same functionality or at least the goal.

Many veteran Flash experts are already speculating many questions.
Will Silverlight prove to be better or be able to come up to the level of the Flash Player?
What is the differences and similarities between them?

Let’s hear what Jesse Ezell says – Flash was created to develop animations based on frames, Silverlight is an efficient framework with good facilities for animations. So if you want to make animations Flash is a good option but if you want to develop interactive systems with animations Silverlight is better.


Here is my personal reply to Jesse Ezell.

Your statement is true for Flash 4. Please upgrade your statement, Adobe Flash is currently 5 versions ahead of your statement.
This makes me feel like we are bringing back the Neanderthal man (by some means) to this modern world and discussing how they made fire, shelters to live, etc. In any case, if that was possible, the Neanderthal man will look around our houses, electricity, automobiles and they’ll be shocked and may even go wild, crazy after seeing e development that we have today. Jesse Ezell, please come to the modern world of Flash Player 9 (or at least 7).
Disclaimer: I take NO responsibility if he gets a shock and goes wild, crazy.

Now, let’s enjoy what Ted Patrick has to say about Silverlight.
“The goal of Silverlight is to get into the game, not to add anything new of value. If you look at the feature set on a pure technology basis, Silverlight has 80% less features and 98% less compatibility than Adobe Flash Player.”

SILVERLIGHT PARTNERSHIP

The Microsoft Corporation has started an partner initiative which give a great variety of benefits for companies, solution providers, content delivery networks and interactive agencies. Some of the partners of Silverlight are Pinnacle Systems (leader in consuming video editing application), Cynergy, VeriSign, Level 3 Communications and much others.

SILVERLIGHT TOOLS and RESOURCES

  • Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 Software Development Kit: Download this software development kit (SDK) to create Silverlight 1.0 Web experiences. The SDK contains documentation and samples, along with templates for Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 Software Development Kit Alpha September Refresh: Download this SDK to create Silverlight Web experiences that target Silverlight 1.1. The SDK contains documentation and samples along with templates for Visual Studio.
  • Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (Evaluation is available for Windows): Extend the integration and productivity benefits of Visual Studio for developers to the entire software development team. Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio share the same project and file formats, enabling developers and designers to collaborate freely while maintaining creative control.
  • Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2: Experience the next generation of Visual Studio. If you want to develop Silverlight applications targeting Silverlight 1.1 Alpha, this is required.
  • Microsoft Silverlight Alpha Tools for Visual Studio 2008 Beta: Update Visual Studio 2008 with the JavaScript and managed code functionality needed to develop Silverlight applications.
  • Microsoft ASP.NET Futures (July 2007): Compatible with both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008, this package contains ASP.NET-based Silverlight controls.
  • Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar: Quickly create, understand, and troubleshoot Web pages with these tools—for free.

REFERENCES

INSTALLATION

If you find the installation links confusing at Microsoft Silverlight page, here is their installation page.

14 Comments

  1. Silverlight means many things to many people, for some it's a natural gap that is being filled, whilst others may look at it as a new toy to play with? choice is powerful thing is it not?

    You could look at it from a perspective of bringing forth a Neanderthal and state "this is how it all works now" and watch him flip out. Yet, we aren't Neanderthal's (despite at times the way Ted pitches his posts) and if you were to build a runtime tommorow, based off what you know today - what would you do, and how different would you make it. What if you took Einstein while he was at his peak, bring him forward to now and then send him back.. what changes would be made! (oh that's a nice short story unto itself! heh).

    Silverlight competes with Flash in a variety of ways, whilst it also provides a way forward in a very unique way in which Microsoft has never done before. Keep in mind this product is breaking new ground for Microsoft in a lot of ways (partnership with Novell / Linux, deployment on a Mac with full access to any whom want it via the DLR). It's best days are yet to come.

    Flash vs SIlverlight discussions sadly will continue to carry on, guys like Ted will continue to sprout opinions based off of 5mins of use, and declare it a failure or a no win battle. He should spend more time researching our stack and use it daily before commenting (as I use both products daily).

    RIA requires more then a runtime to succeed, partners, tools, influencers, industry demand etc... this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon and there is large investments from both companies in this space and our respective eco-systems are swelling. We like Adobe are serious about it and aren't goofing around? simple enough?

    -
    Scott Barnes
    RIA Evangelist
    Microsoft.

  2. Silverlight means many things to many people, for some it's a natural gap that is being filled, whilst others may look at it as a new toy to play with? choice is powerful thing is it not?

    You could look at it from a perspective of bringing forth a Neanderthal and state "this is how it all works now" and watch him flip out. Yet, we aren't Neanderthal's (despite at times the way Ted pitches his posts) and if you were to build a runtime tommorow, based off what you know today - what would you do, and how different would you make it. What if you took Einstein while he was at his peak, bring him forward to now and then send him back.. what changes would be made! (oh that's a nice short story unto itself! heh).

    Silverlight competes with Flash in a variety of ways, whilst it also provides a way forward in a very unique way in which Microsoft has never done before. Keep in mind this product is breaking new ground for Microsoft in a lot of ways (partnership with Novell / Linux, deployment on a Mac with full access to any whom want it via the DLR). It's best days are yet to come.

    Flash vs SIlverlight discussions sadly will continue to carry on, guys like Ted will continue to sprout opinions based off of 5mins of use, and declare it a failure or a no win battle. He should spend more time researching our stack and use it daily before commenting (as I use both products daily).

    RIA requires more then a runtime to succeed, partners, tools, influencers, industry demand etc... this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon and there is large investments from both companies in this space and our respective eco-systems are swelling. We like Adobe are serious about it and aren't goofing around? simple enough?

    -
    Scott Barnes
    RIA Evangelist
    Microsoft.

  3. Silver light will be more than flash. I have started learning it a bit with ajax and it sure is not just flash. Even we might come up with some small project to test it out.

  4. Silver light will be more than flash. I have started learning it a bit with ajax and it sure is not just flash. Even we might come up with some small project to test it out.

  5. I would like to at least try out Silverlight... I wounder how easy Flash users will be able to crossover?

  6. I would like to at least try out Silverlight... I wounder how easy Flash users will be able to crossover?

  7. This application does seem very un-Microsoft. I wonder if they ment to say 'creating our own standards' instead of 'Enhance existing standards'?

  8. This application does seem very un-Microsoft. I wonder if they ment to say 'creating our own standards' instead of 'Enhance existing standards'?

  9. Is it possible to integrate Silverlight with Flash authoring environment?

  10. Is it possible to integrate Silverlight with Flash authoring environment?

  11. Sounds like silverlight will do more than Flash. What is the learning curve?

    I would like an invite to joost and think that it is great that you are giving them away.

  12. Sounds like silverlight will do more than Flash. What is the learning curve?

    I would like an invite to joost and think that it is great that you are giving them away.

Comments are closed.