For the end-user, it is a Flash-like plug-in which allows viewing of apps and media written specifically for it.
For the developer, Silverlight allows apps written in managed code to be delivered via a browser to Internet users in a platform agnostic manner.
It certainly changes what can be done with a browser and I have no doubt that Microsoft themselves will begin to use it to roll out Rich Intetnet Apps and try to regain some of the lost Internet space (Offlce Light, anyone?).
How do you find out more about Silverlight? Well, Fergal Breen of IrishDev is hosting a SilverLight event in Dublin next week (Thursday Sept 27th in the Cineworld Complex, Parnell Street, Dublin):
Martha Rotter, from the original Silverlight crew, invites you to witness how Silverlight can light up the web with Rich Interactive Applications
Back in May when Microsoft first announced SilverLight, there was quite a bit of hoopla. And, in fairness to Microsoft, deservedly so – the demos I saw of SilverLight at the launch were pretty amazing.
What is SilverLight? SilverLight is similar to Flash – it is a browser plugin which allows for stunning interactivity and video play in a browser (for example, check out the Halo 3 sample). If you want to know more about SilverLight, check out the podcast I did with Brad Abrams, SilverLight program manager.
Google bought Doubleclick for $3.1 billion in April. Later that same month, Yahoo acquired competitor RightMedia for $680 million. Just yesterday, WPP Group acquired yet another company in this space, 24/7 Real Media, for $649 million.
Just as an indicator of how seriously Microsoft is taking advertising as a revenue stream, this is Microsoft’s largest acquisition to-date. Look to Microsoft to start generating more and more income from advertising and less and less from the traditional software licencing model.
I suspect that we will see an online version of Office, developed in Silverlight, free to use and ad supported in the next 12 months.
I had a problem with my MacBookPro the other day. It lost Internet connectivity. It couldn’t get an IP address from the DSL router. Restarting the router didn’t help. Nor did stopping and starting Airport or using a wired connection.
At first I figured the router was fried. But then, I restarted the Mac and lo! connectivity came back.
I wrote it off as a once off and didn’t think any more of it.
Then over the next few days I had problems with Firefox freezing. Uninstalling plugins didn’t help. What did fix it was closing all the tabs which contained Silverlight content.
Then the problem with the Mac losing Internet connectivity recurred. Several times. Both at the home office and outside of it.
I finally had an Aha! moment. I searched the hard drive for all occurrences of Silverlight, found the Silverlight plugin, deleted it and re-started the Mac.
Microsoft launched Silverlight yesterday in a blaze of stunning demos at the MIX07 keynote yesterday. The demos were not done by Microsoft but by partner companies who were given access to Expression Studio (the Silverlight development tools) a couple of weeks ago.
Everyone I have talked to at MIX was blown away.
To my mind the most impressive demo was by Beau Ambur of Metaliq. Beau demo’d a video editing app which was extremely easy to use, very powerful and browser based. Yes, you read that correctly, browser-based! It took me a while for that to sink in with me too. I was watching Beau’s demo, thinking, wow, that’s cool when it suddenly dawned on me that there was an address bar at the top of the screen! Hang on a sec, he’s doing this in a browser? You can do this in a browser? Wow!
Even more impressive was that the demo (called Top Banana) had a 50k footprint!
What is did Microsoft announce? It breaks down into: