After last week release of Silverlight 2 Beta 2, (SL2B2)  I collected a small step-by-step guide and a few resources for those we want to start playing around and experience it.

1. Install the client

Installing the SL2B2 client is very quick and straightforward. Just fire your preferred browser to http://silverlight.net/getstarted. On the right hand site you will see a set of links to install Silverlight Beta 2 for Windows or Mac (as well as Silverlight 1 for either platform).

So, click on the appropriate link and follow the instructions. If you use a Windows machine, you will not need to remove any previous version you may have installed, while if you have a Mac you will need to uninstall the previous one.

2. Look at a few examples

The first thing I like to do when installing new software is to see what I can do with it. Since this new beta breaks some of the code created with the previous beta (but will work with any Silverlight 1 content out there), here is a collection of links you can visit to get a feeling on what can be achieved:

3. Get the tools

Now you will probably be very excited about it and want to start creating amazing stuff with it yourself. So how do you go about it? Simply download these tools:

  • Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008
    This is a add-on to Visual Studio 2008 which allows to use .NET to create Silverlight applications. More info on the tools can be found here and the SDK documentation is here)
  • Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview
    Expression Blend is a tool that can be used to design the user interface of a Silverlight application. Although you can achieve the exact same results using Visual Studio, Blend is definitely a more interactive tool oriented for the Design minded user. It has a very sleek interface (personally I really love it) and some very useful tools that help creating very tidy interfaces.
  • DeepZoom Composer
    If you got blown away by DeepZoom (and if you have not… I recommend you look at the Hardrock Memorabilia demo again and maybe also at this video to see some more potential real world use).
    Creating a DeepZoom experience is actually very easy: just download the Deepzoom Composer and you are good to go. I will make a step by step tutorial soon, but if you need some additional info, you can look at these blog posts (the expression team’s blog and Scott Hanselman’s post)

Once you have all of these, you will be good to go. In the next few days (and weeks) I will try to put together some interesting examples that can be used to learn Silverlight and (possibly) teach it to University audiences.

Let me know if you have any feedback or want to figure out how to do something specifically and I’ll try to find a way.