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Today, we announced Silverlight 2 (Beta 2).

Why should you care? well today we are coming through with the goods that we promised at MIX08 firstly. Secondly, you will be able to now Go Live with your Silverlight 2 creations!! (when the beta2 release is available later this week).

I anticipate Silverlight to make it's mark this year in the RIA space in a more aggressive manner via our customers. Silverlight 2 (b2) offers enough primitives and capabilities to piece together a Silverlight based RIA solution.

I myself am currently building an internal solution with the current release and have found it a lot smoother in development & design than previous iterations. It's by far our best release to date and I'm extremely keen to see what our customers around the world do with it.

Untitled-1 We are getting Serious (as my boss, Brad Becker indicates) and we aren't relaxing with just B2 either. We are working really hard to make sure the distribution gets wider, faster and installed in more PC's.

Earlier this week we announced the HP ToolBar deal, which basically has a lot of Live.com goodness associated to it, but also for me, most important of all ensures all new HP consumer machines have Silverlight installed.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has won a key distribution deal with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search-enabled toolbar on all HP consumer PCs planned to ship in the United States and Canada, beginning in January 2009. As part of this deal, the default search engine setting in the browser on all HP consumer PCs will also be set to Microsoft Live Search.

Distribution however, was and is never a concern for me as Microsoft have always had a great history in terms of getting the technology in everyone's hands (gosh, Flash Player's success owes a few beers Microsoft's way for it's distribution success). The real concern for me has always been around Features.

Well Today, with the new announcements I am confident and happy with what the Program teams have put together around features. I'm looking forward to working with them more on the next version.

That all being said, let me know if you're not sure about what Silverlight B2 means. In that if you think we aren't covering off an area / feature as well as we should, please tell me (or email me - scbarnes is the first part of my microsoft.com email).

You can read Brad's take on the features and where we are at overall here:

http://scarynoises.com/blog/archives/2008/06/silverlight_get.html#comments

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