Microsoft today announced the availability of its Adobe Flash killer, Silverlight in its version 1.0 incarnation:
Microsoft Corp. today released to the Web (RTW) Silverlight™ 1.0, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering richer user experiences on the Web. In addition, Microsoft will work with Novell Inc. to deliver Silverlight support for Linux, called Moonlight, and based on the project started on mono-project.com.
Also released was “Expression Encoder 1.0 (formerly Expression Media Encoder), a tool that makes it simple for professionals to encode, enhance and publish rich media content to Silverlight.”
Silverlight is Microsoft’s bid to attract developers in the Rich Internet Application (RIA) and Web multimedia space, but the question is how many general users they will get to download their plug-in when Adobe Flash (and even Windows Media for multimedia) already provides much the same functionality and is fairly ubiquitous.
To help adoption along, Microsoft has signed up a variety of content providers to use Silverlight and is featuring “Entertainment Tonight,” the Home Shopping Network, and World Wrestling Entertainment. A quick cruise of all three sites without the benefit of Silverlight installed revealed no glitches, so not surprisingly the reference customers are not putting all their eggs in the Silverlight basket. Also related is the Silverlight Partner Initiative to encourage design and content delivery firms to support Silverlight and there is a list in the press release.
Now that Silverlight 1.0 is out the door, my team is cranking hard on our Silverlight 1.1 release.
Silverlight 1.1 will include a cross-platform version of the .NET Framework, and will enable a rich .NET development experience in the browser. It will support a WPF programming model for UI – including support for an extensible control model, layout management, data-binding, control skinning, and a rich set of built-in controls. It will also include a subset of the full .NET Framework base class library you use today, including support for collections, generics, IO, threading, globalization, networking (including sockets, web-services and REST support), HTML DOM, XML, local storage, and LINQ.