Microsoft set to release Silverlight 2

Logo Microsoft SilverlightMicrosoft is nearing a final release of its updated programmable browser plugin, Silverlight 2, with a beta version available for download. Many of the new features are designed to be attractive to developers, which will be a key factor for taking market share from its main competitor, Adobe Flash. Support for the full range of .NET framework has been added, which further expands the list of compatible programming languages that also includes Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython, and IronRuby. The plugin now works across Windows, Mac, or Linux systems in Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

The release features new tools such as DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollView, and Calendar controls. Developers can change the look of applications with new support for skinning and templates, or use a new deep zoom function for navigation of high resolution content. Content protection has been enhanced, adding Silverlight DRM, which is powered by Microsoft's PlayReady client.

The Redmond-based software giant is pushing the adoption of the technology by partnering with well known entities including CBS College Sports, Blockbuster, Hard Rock Cafe, Yahoo Japan, AOL, Toyota, HSN, and Tencent. Microsoft claims the installation of the plugin approaches 50 percent in some countries, with 30 percent in the US.

The success of the application so far can be partially attributed to the 2008 Olympics, where it was used to deliver content on websites such in the US and others internationally. Silverlight 2 will be available for download from Microsoft starting Tuesday, October 14. Users that have already installed Silverlight 1 or the Silverlight 2 betas will automatically be updated.

Source: electronista

Tags: Microsoft

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