Yesterday, we announced our release of Silverlight 2 to the web. Silverlight 2 builds on its predecessor, silverlight Silverlight 1, which brought HD video and interactive animations via the browser plugin. The most compelling aspect about Silverlight 2 is that it brings the .NET runtime to the browser. This means developers who are familiar with any of the .NET Languages (languages like VB, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby) can leverage their knowledge to create rich interactive applications that run in a web browser.

Cross-browser support

Silverlight was designed with cross-browser and cross-platform support in mind. Silverlight supports Internet Explorer and Firefox on the PC and Safari and Firefox on the Mac. Through our friends at Novell, the Moonlight project will be the Silverlight answer for Linux machines.

Silverlight 2 is small in size (4.6MB) and only takes seconds to install on a machine that doesn't already have the runtime installed.  It does not require the .NET Framework to be installed on a computer to run - the Silverlight setup download includes everything necessary to play video or run applications.

Adoption Facts

Silverlight’s adoption has been growing at a rapid rate since Silverlight 1 was launched last year. From the Silverlight press release:

  • One in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed.
  • Penetration of the Silverlight runtime is approaching 50 percent in some countries.
  • The partner ecosystem includes more than 150 partners to support Silverlight development, design and support.
  • During the 17 days of the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, NBCOlympics.com, powered by Silverlight, had more than 50 million unique visitors, resulting in 1.3 billion page views, 70 million video streams and 600 million minutes of video watched, increasing the average time on the site (from 3 minutes to 27 minutes) and Silverlight market penetration in the U.S. by more than 30 percent.
  • In August 2008, the Democratic National Convention was streamed live using Silverlight, and broadcast a 2Mbit live video feed of the event and speeches - receiving outstanding feedback from audiences watching it.
  • Several 1000s of Silverlight applications.

Community Support and Interoperability

  • We will be providing new controls to developers with the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP) under the Microsoft Permissive License.
  • We announced plans to support additional tools for developing Silverlight applications by providing funding to Soyatec, an IT solutions provider based in Paris, France, and an Eclipse Foundation member, to lead a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE. Soyatec plans to release the project under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge and submit it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project. A technology preview of the Soyatec project is available today at http://www.eclipse4sl.org, with a complete version available in second half of 2009. You can follow their progress at the Eclipse4SL blog.
  • Through our Open Specification Promise we plan to make available the Silverlight XAML vocabulary.

Future

The future for Silverlight is very promising. Some examples of applications to come:

  • CBS College Sports Network will be streaming 20,000 hours of live games for 150+ college and university partners.
  • AOL is launching their new AOL Mail browser version to 60 million users using Silverlight 2.
  • Blockbuster will be launching their new MovieLink subscription service using Silverlight.
  • Yahoo! Japan is live today enabling live streaming of Major League Baseball games.
  • Hard Rock International will be updating their memorabilia site with new features.
  • And companies like Toyota, HSN and hundreds of others will be live soon.

Also, we’ll be covering a lot on Silverlight including Silverlight’s support for Mobile devices at PDC.

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