Silverlight is a new cross-browser, cross-platform implementation of the .NET Framework for building and delivering the next generation of media experiences and Rich Interactive Applications(RIA) for the web. It runs in all popular browsers, including Microsoft Internet.
Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera. The plugin required to run Silverlight is very small in size hence gets installed very quickly.
Silverlight aims to compete with Adobe Flash and the presentation components of Ajax. It also competes with Sun Microsystems’ JavaFX, which was launched a few days after Silverlight.
Currently there are 4 major versions of Silverlight:
- Silverlight 1.0
- Silverlight 2.0
- Silverlight 3.0
- Silverlight 4.0
How Silverlight would change the Web:
Highest Quality Video Experience: prepare to see some of the best quality videos you have seen in your life, all embedded in highly graphical websites. The same research and technology that was used for VC-1, the codec that powers BluRay and HD DVD, is used by Microsoft today with its streaming media technologies. Cross-Platform, Cross-Browser: Finally build web applications that work on any browser, and on any operating system. At release, Silverlight will work with Mac as well as Windows! The Mono project has also already promised support for Linux!. Developers and Graphic Designers can play together! : Developers familiar with Visual Studio, Microsoft.net will be able to develop amazing Silverlight applications very quickly, and they will work on Mac’s and Windows. Developers will finally be able to strictly focus on the back end of the application core, while leaving the visuals to the Graphic Design team using the power of XAML. Cheaper: Silverlight is now the most inexpensive way to stream video files over the internet at the best quality possible. Licensing is dead simple, all you need is IIS in Windows Server, and you’re done. Support for 3rd Party Languages: Using the power of the new Dynamic Language Runtime, developers will now be able to use Ruby, Python, and EcmaScript! This means a Ruby developer can develop Silverlight applications, and leverage the .net Framework! Cross-Platform, Cross-Browser Remote Debugging: If you are in the need to debug an application running on a Mac, no problem! You can now set breakpoints, step into/over code, have immediate windows, and all that other good stuff that Visual Studio provides. The best development environment on the planet:Visual Studio is an award winning development platform! As it continues to constantly evolve, so will Silverlight! Silverlight offers copy protection: Have you noticed how easy it is to download YouTube videos to your computer, and save them for later viewing ? Silverlight will finally have the features enabling content providers complete control over their rich media content! Streaming television, new indie broadcast stations, all will now be possible! Extreme Speed: There is a dramatic improvement in speed for AJAX-enabled websites that begin to use Silverlight, leveraging the Microsoft .net framework.