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Microsoft Silverlight 2.0

Posted by Sravan | October 22, 2008 .

Microsoft Silverlight LogoWith my focus still mainly on Adobe technologies, I haven’t noticed that Microsoft had released Silverlight 2.0 a day before Adobe released Flash Player 10.

Silverlight 2.0 provides expanded support for .NET allowing developers to build RIAs using Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython or IronRuby. This could be Silverlight’s USP, at least for a while, because such freedom is apparently not found in any other runtimes.

Easy navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery is enabled through the “deep zoom” feature. Apart from this, there are new powerful built-in controls including DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer and Calendar controls, and advanced skinning and templating support.

An interesting feature is its expanded advertiser support which includes superior SEO techniques and “next-generation in-stream” advertising support. Nice. But then, why advanced content protection, meaning more DRM? That’s just Microsoft, I guess.

Cross-platform and cross-browser support enable support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Safari, IE and Firefox. Silverlight, unsurprisingly, can’t yet support Google Chrome.

One improvement I’ve noticed in Microsoft is the speed at which microsoft.com webpages are loading these days. Whether or not it is a direct implication of Bill Gates’ epic e-mail rant (written five and a half years ago) escaping to the Internet a few months ago, I’m happy. (In stark contrast to adobe.com, where pages continue to be difficult to find and load.)

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