Silverlight: a great new tool for every web developer's toolbox

Posted 16 April 2007  

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Microsoft® Silverlight™ marks an important step for Microsoft into the rich client space. There’s plenty of marketing-speak up at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/, so I just want to focus on a few of the bullet points in the announcements that I think are pretty cool.

  • VC-1 support means high definition video on both the Mac and PC, in an efficient format.  I can’t wait to start publishing screencasts and other media presentations that target Silverlight.  Up until now there hasn’t been a way to offer your Microsoft VC-1 content to OS X users that I’m aware of.
  • Integration with existing web technologies is a key point that I am proud of: I like to view rich plugins like Silverlight and Flash as a tool for when you need to go the extra mile, use interactive video, etc., instead of a replacement for every site out there—XHTML and CSS are great for a reason!
  • Microsoft PlayReady support (page says “coming in Fall 2007”) indicates that there will be digital rights management support for both the PC and Mac, which I think is going to be attractive to a lot of companies that right now are using Microsoft DRM and only able to support the Windows platform. 

I’m excited to share more details and hope to interact with everyone at MIX ’07: see you in Las Vegas at the end of the month!

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Jeff Wilcox is a Principal Software Engineer at Microsoft in the Open Source Programs Office, helping Microsoft scale to 10,000+ engineers using, contributing to and releasing open source.

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