April 15, 2007 — Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Silverlight™, a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc.
Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows® Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery. Delivered to end users through a seamless, fast installation, Silverlight offers consistent experiences to both Macintosh and Windows users on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer®, Firefox and Safari.
Microsoft’s broader development platform and additional details about Silverlight will be shared in the keynote presentation at Microsoft’s upcoming Mix07 conference, April 30 in Las Vegas. Microsoft will also release the beta for Silverlight during the Mix07 conference. More information about the Mix07 event can be found at http://www.mix07.com.
As is well known, Silverlight offers a subset of the the Windows Presentation Foundation technologies introduced with Vista along with Windows Media Video (WMV), Microsoft’s implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard, combined in a runtime that will allow cross platform rich media Web applications. (See Tim Sneath’s top ten list of reasons why you might want to use Silverlight for the technical sales pitch.)
As I have observed previously, at this point Silverlight is just another browser plug-in, but Microsoft has high hopes as indicated by the extra effort they made in branding it. Not surprisingly, Adobe (the owner of Flash) cast doubts on Microsoft’s cross platform commitment.