Posts tagged Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight 4 set to be released April 15

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Microsoft said on Tuesday that Silverlight 4 will be released on April 15.  The update includes many key additions including support for Google’s Chrome browser.  This additional support should help with the adoption of the platform as it competes head to head with Flash.

Silverlight 4 includes webcam and microphone support, multicast streaming, output protection and offline DRM. Silverlight 4 will also allow you to watch streams on multimonitors and carry on working on other monitors. The update also promises to enhance the overall user experience, improving speed, performance and rendering for browsers.

Microsoft officials confirmed the update will be available on Microsoft’s website on Thursday but no specific time was given.  Silverlight 4 was originally demonstrated at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in November 2009. Microsoft released some statistics on Silverlight 3, being installed on 33% of all computers and mobile phones during summer 2009. Silverlight 3 is now installed on approximately 45% of all computers and mobile devices around the world today. Silverlight is being touted as the de-facto platform for development of Windows Phone 7; expect to see tighter integration to that platform as we approach the holiday season in 2010.

Microsoft officially launches Silverlight 3

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After going live just a little bit early, Silverlight 3 is now an official release. The third iteration of Microsoft’s rich internet application platform largely viewed as the chief competitor to Adobe Flash (but really an AIR rival) was officially launched this morning at a Microsoft event in San Francisco alongside Expression 3, the latest version of the company’s design and development studio.

In the short time that it has been around, Microsoft said today that nearly one-third of all Internet-enabled devices have Silverlight 2 installed, and today’s launch ushered in several new big-name customers. NBC Sports, for example, which used Silverlight to stream the Beijing Summer Olympics, will not only use Silverlight for the 2010 Winter Olympics as was previously expected, but for all of its online video moving forward.

NBC Universal and the rest of the companies using Silverlight will be able to capitalize on the latest developments to the platform, which Microsoft premiered incrementally this year after Silverlight 3 was released in beta at MIX 09 in March.

Smooth Streaming, for example, is Silverlight 3’s ability to provide variable streams up to 1080p based upon the seamless detection of the user’s connection speed and CPU power. A user’s conditions are determined so that a feed can be set up that will not buffer or stutter in mid-stream. This feature is enabled when Silverlight 3 is combined with IIS 7.0 Media Services.

Silverlight 3 offers an improved audiovisual experience overall, with better 3D rendering and animation, higher resolution video, and MPEG 4-based H.264/AAC audio.

The feature known as “Out-of-Browser” is the ability for Silverlight 3 apps to run outside of the browser window without any additional plug-ins, and without necessarily needing an Internet connection.

What’s new with Silverlight Tools Beta 2!

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A number of great improvements and changes were made for Silverlight Tools Beta 2. The following list summaries some of the major changes with details on each below.

  1. WCF templates for Silverlight Enabled.
  2. Build configurations.
  3. XAML Validation now reports build errors.
  4. Setup Improvements.
  5. Projects created in Beta 1 are prompted for conversion when opening to Beta 2.
  6. Linking a Web Site to a Silverlight Application.

Full Description : MSDN Blogs.

Expression Studio 2 with Silverlight

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Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a version of its tool set for Web and multimedia designers that includes the first native support for its Silverlight technology across all of the products in the suite.

Expression Studio 2 includes five products: Expression Web for Web design; Expression Blend for multimedia and 3-D design; Expression Design for graphic design; Expression Media for storing and sharing multimedia assets; and Expression Encoder for video encoding. The new release marks the first time that Encoder is in the suite as a full-fledged product, said Wayne Smith, Microsoft group product manager for Expression Studio.

In the new release, all of the products now have support for Silverlight, Microsoft’s multimedia runtime for running live and streaming video on the Web. Previously, only Expression Web had support for Silverlight, but it was very limited, Smith said.

In a sense, this is the first full release of Expression, as Silverlight is a key component of Microsoft’s design strategy and overall plan to compete with Adobe Systems’ Creative Suite and its Flash technology. Expression Studio has only been in the market about a year, but Smith said that the company is not sharing customer-adoption information. However, he said that judging from the interest in preview versions of Expression Studio 2, the inclusion of Silverlight should increase sales of Expression overall.

Other improvements to Expression Studio 2 include support for PHP development in Expression Web and improvements to video-file compression in Expression Encoder, Wayne said.

As part of the release, Microsoft will also begin offering a new subscription for the product in June that gives designers another way to purchase the software besides the current packaged option. Microsoft previously unveiled the subscription for Expression at its MIX 08 conference in Las Vegas in March.

In addition to giving designers Expression Studio 2, the professional subscription will also include a standard edition of Visual Studio and Office, Office Visio Professional, Windows XP, Windows Vista Business Edition, Virtual PC and Parallels Desktop for Mac. The subscription costs $999 a year, but there will be a discount when customers renew their subscriptions after the first year, Smith said.

The traditional licensed version of Expression Studio 2 is available for purchase or upgrade from the first version of Expression on Microsoft’s Web site. It should also be available by midmonth to retailers such as Best Buy, with an estimated retail price of $699. To encourage Adobe users to switch to Expression, Microsoft is also offering upgrade deals. Information is available on the Web site.

Aside from Expression Design 2, all of the suite’s tools are available for individual purchase. Expression Blend 2 is available for $499, Expression Web 2 is available for $299, Expression Media 2 for $199 and Expression Encoder 2 for $199.

Microsoft has unveiled the second version of its Expression tool set with Silverlight support built-in.

Mono helps Silverlight get closer to Adobe AIR

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Miguel de Icaza, who heads up the open-source Mono project, has provided an update on a project to create Silverlight applications that run out of the browser, moving a small step toward what Adobe Systems offers with AIR.

Mono is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .Net framework. It lets developers use Microsoft tools and languages, like C#, to write applications that run on Windows, Linux, or MacOS.

Part of the Mono project is Moonlight, an implementation of Silverlight that runs on Linux. Silverlight is a browser plug-in for rich Internet applications.

De Icaza said that some of the Moonlight work aims to let people write Silverlight applications that run standalone, outside the browser.

That’s not something Microsoft offers right now. Many people expect the company to do that to compete with Adobe’s AIR, which lets people use Web tools to write desktop applications.

The “Moonlight desklets” from Mono run standalone outside the browser, too. But de Icaza made it clear that there’s quite a bit of work to make it easier to write them for all Mono-supported operating systems.

“We as a team can certainly create a Linux-only platform for these controls, and live happily with Mopen, but we would miss an opportunity of having something cross platform like AIR is.

“Ideally, Microsoft would follow our direction and implement and distribute the same Mopen functionality (the mechanism for creating stand-alone Moonlight desklets) that we have for Windows and Mac. This would ensure maximum adoption of standalone Silverlight-applications,” de Icaza wrote in his blog.

He said once Microsoft releases Silverlight 2.0 later this year, the task of writing standalone Silverlight applications will get easier. He also said that it would be a feature in Moonlight 2.0 while they are still working on the 1.0 version.

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