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Microsoft Announces Silverlight 2

 11:44 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Announces Silverlight 2 [microsoft.com]
Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Silverlight 2, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences through a Web browser. Silverlight 2 delivers a wide range of new features and tools that enable designers and developers to better collaborate while creating more accessible, more discoverable and more secure user experiences.

Microsoft also announced further support of open source communities by funding advanced Silverlight development capabilities with the Eclipse Foundation’s integrated development environment (IDE) and by providing new controls to developers with the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP) under the Microsoft Permissive License.

“We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “Silverlight represents a radical improvement in the way developers and designers build applications on the Web. This release will further accelerate our efforts to make Silverlight, Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio the preeminent solutions for the creation and delivery of media and rich Internet application experiences.”



 9:46 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

still no flv support....


 11:17 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

"still no flv support".

No surprise there. They are trying to compete directly with Adobe's - so, in typical MS style, they try to freeze out all competitor products and file types.

I'm no expert, but I don't think this will really take off until they support flv. If they ever do, this thing might actually really be compelling and could change the web. It's quite handy and allows for some beautiful and game-changing stuff through the browser. Very impressive.

Then again, can we really expect MS to build support for flv?


 5:02 am on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

the irony is how they are touting how much "open support" it has because it will be integrated into eclipse...

of course...."open support" is a far cry from "open source"...that's like saying you support the troops by putting a yellow sticker on the back of your car...


 1:56 pm on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just don't get it. If Microsoft's Silverlight is offering users "comprehensive and powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences through a Web browser" and then obviously ignore flv, haven't they failed to meet their own standard?

This smells like senior management got involved in Silverlight's product design and specs.

Lord Majestic

 2:00 pm on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

They are trying to compete directly with Adobe's - so, in typical MS style, they try to freeze out all competitor products and file types.

Actually at this point Microsoft usually supports INPUT formats of competitors - my guess is that they need license for that (Adobe I think had some funny attitude about Microsoft having Word to save in PDF format recently), and naturally why would Adobe give them license for FLV?

I am sure if they could they'd support it in this release.


 6:46 pm on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lord Majestic -

You have a lot of faith.

I'm not so sure, especially given the history of M$.

It looks like deliberate omission to me.

Lord Majestic

 6:57 pm on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

It looks like deliberate omission to me.

Why would they omit something they know they need for success?

Microsoft plays catch up they desperately need to support that - all their history suggests they have to do it (say early IE did not support HTML but then they had to do it), problem is that Adobe has always been paranoid about Microsoft (which is probably wise to be fair) and they would not license them right to use that format - no point for them to do it, check out on the web information about when Microsoft Office 2007 wanted to support saving as native PDF - Adobe forced Microsoft to stop doing it on the basis of Microsoft attempting to kill competition, this is known documented behavior from Adobe, so given that we know it happened I think it is plausible to suggest same situation applied to FLV.

As you I see lack of FLV support in Silverlight as big issue - there is no motive for Microsoft playing catch up to keep it this way, now if they were the market leader then I'd agree with you.


 1:55 pm on Oct 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

As someone who knows a lot of the folks on the Silverlight team and am a little more intimate with the goals of Silverlight Flash format support is moot. Silverlight 1 is a great multimedia platform, still requires a lot of JavaScript to drive some things, etc. Silverlight 2 includes more Line of Business controls (key point) to help build data driven business applications. Silverlight can do everything Flash can code and much more in a development experience (languages and framework) that developers are familiar with. WPF (Windows Presenation Foundation) is so much larger than building just web applications, annimations and games. There is so much more too it than a simple forum post could ever do justice.

Right now, in our community, we are trying to figure out where SL really fits in. As a web tool it is fantastic for multi-media. As a business tool, behind the firewall, it can serve a purpose, but a full blown WPF application probably works better. As a web commerce platform, I am not so sold on SL as the way to go, I like AJAX much better. But one thing we do agree on is that SL should be a great bridging technology to get developers into WPF development.

From a designer perspective, which I am not one (so take that into consideration), the whole WPF platform gives you a vast canvase to express your artistic freedoms. I think you guys are being very closed in thinking it must support flv. Just like the whole you can't do PDF from Office, I bet there will be viable solutions to integrate flv content into SL applications. I think I have already seen some ways to import flv as it is. What I think, and I could be wrong, is SL offers a much richer platform to build more advanced UI content. I am not much a SL developer yet, but I know plenty that do a lot, if not all their development with SL front-ends right now.

I encourage you guys to check out a DNRTV episode with Billy Hollis. I think this provides a lot of insight into how WPF is going to shift user experience paradigms. [dnrtv.com...]

This is my last statement. AIR, etc is being built from the designer perspective. SL/WPF from the developer perspective. SL/WPF front-ends can be developed both in Visual Studio and Blend and typically both are used in concert with each other. I do not know about AIR, what application framework is it built upon, etc?

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