As a Microsoft Expression MVP, people are always asking me to point out cool Silverlight sites. So far it’s been pretty hard to find awesome sites because all the new sites are being built are being built on Silverlight 2 beta which is not yet supported fully by Microsoft. The release of Silverlight 2 will allow many of these applications to launch out of beta, and into production.
How is Silverlight doing?
You have to remember that Silverlight only launched about a year ago. How is it fairing with market penetration? In the United States, Silverlight is now running on 30% of the computers. Worldwide, 25% of consumers now have access to Silverlight. Remember this market penetration was with the mainly Video only version of Silverlight. Now that Silverlight 2 is here with complete .NET Framework support, expect thousands of applications to pop up, and the install base to grow rapidly.
Microsoft Silverlight Coming to Eclipse
Microsoft also announced its plans to support Silverlight development in tools other than Expression Studio and Visual Studio. In fact, Microsoft will provide funding to an Eclipse Foundation Member, Soyatec, to lead the project to integrate Silverlight development into the Eclipse IDE. The project will be released under the Eclipse Public License on SourceForge.
The download of Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight “Community Technology Preview” is already available for download from eclipse4sl.org.
Furthermore, Microsoft will release the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP) and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary. The pack will include controls such as: DockPanel, ViewBox, TreeView, Accordion and AutoComplete. With the release of the Silverlight XAML vocabulary, third-party ISV’s will be able to create applications that can read and write XAML for Silverlight very easily.
Some Highlights of Silverlight 2
- .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.
- Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
- Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.
- Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.
- Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.
- Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.
- Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.
- Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.
- Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.
Silverlight 2 will be available for download on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at http://www.silverlight.net. Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight will be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 2.
Read all the details on the release of Silverlight 2 at Microsoft PressPass