Microsoft Silverlight

While Adobe wants to move the web to the desktop, Microsoft moves in the opposite direction (again). A new browser plugin named Silverlight will according to Microsoft:

  • Deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIA) for the Web that incorporate video, animation, interactivity, and stunning user interfaces.
  • Seamless, fast installation for users, thanks to a small, on-demand, easy-to-install plug-in that is less than 2 megabyte (MB) and works with all leading browsers.
  • Consistent experiences between Macintosh computers and Windows-based personal computers without any additional installation requirements.
  • Create richer, more compelling Web experiences that take greater advantage of the client for increased performance.
  • Stunning vector-based graphics, media, text, animation, and overlays enable seamless integration of graphics and effects into any existing Web application.
  • Enhance existing standards/AJAX-based applications with richer graphics and media, and improve their performance and capabilities by using Silverlight.

Silverlight isn’t just about video distribution. Through the Microsoft XAML-language developers may create  web applications, games and presentations. XAML is a XML-based language for vector graphic which Microsoft introduced along with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) to describe the user interface for applications of all kinds. Some fear that Microsoft will use XAML to eliminate the use of HTML in web applications, on the other hand Flash didn’t and it’s been around long enough.

A new beta of Sliverlight is scheduled for this week.

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