Microsoft's Flash Killer, Silverlight 2, Released to Web



Silverlight 2, the next step in the evolution of Microsoft's Adobe Flash killer, has been released to web. As Silverlight 2 has reached the RTW milestone, the Redmond giant announced that downloads would only go live on October 14, 2008. At the same time, users who have already deployed Silverlight 2 on their machines as a Beta or a Release Candidate version would be automatically upgraded to the gold version, Microsoft informed. According to the software company, Silverlight is defined as a cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device plug-in.

"We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed,” revealed Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “Silverlight represents a radical improvement in the way developers and designers build applications on the Web. This release will further accelerate our efforts to make Silverlight, Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio the preeminent solutions for the creation and delivery of media and rich Internet application experiences."

Silverlight 2 is designed to integrate seamlessly with Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer running on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, with Microsoft claiming that one in four consumers worldwide has had contact with Silverlight. The Redmond giant indicated that Silverlight penetration was as high as 50% in some markets around the world, but just 30% in the US. However, the software company stated that at just two years since it had been introduced, Silverlight was enjoying a rapid adoption both from users, as well as web content developers and designers.

Microsoft indicated that Silverlight 2 brought to the table features and capabilities including: "Deep zoom; out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services; expanded .NET Framework language support, and support for Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, but also Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences; as well as improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support (this includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support)."