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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Andreas Grabner, Nick Basinger, Kevin Benedict, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Silverlight, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Silverlight: Blog Post

Why Silverlight in Web 2.0?

Web Application Framework

Silverlight is the next step towards user experience in enriching today’s 2.0 technology. Microsoft Silverlight is a web application framework with added interactivity features and supports .NET language and development tools. It is basically a programming model to develop and distribute Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). It is a free cross browser plug-in for delivering multimedia experiences for the web. It is considered as an Adobe flash alternative.

Silverlight supports Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime (CLR), which allows both designers and developers to run the .NET environment within a browser and do so in a relatively lightweight package

Silverlight enables web site development companies to design, develop, and deliver powerful applications and experiences for the web. It’s a browser plug-in that works with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, and devices. Best of all, it’s free, only 4MBs, and installs in ten seconds.

In silverlight applications, user interfaces are declared in XAML (Extensible Application Mark up Language) which is Microsoft’s XML-based language for creating a rich graphical user interface (GUI) and program using a subset of .NET framework

Silverlight applications can be hosted on any Web server accessible to the target audience. The two most commonly used Web servers are Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) and Apache.

Microsoft Silverlight powers rich application experiences and delivers high quality, interactive video across the Web and mobile devices through the most powerful runtime available on the Web. Microsoft Silverlight extends and amplifies your existing development skills, empowering you to build new types of applications for the Web regardless of target platform or browser.

Microsoft has also released a free service called “Silverlight Streaming” that developers can use to store up to 4 GB of content for a Silverlight application, addressing concerns about storage.

There are various versions of silverlight that includes Silverlight 1.0, Silverlight 1.1, silverlight 2 and the latest being released this month is silverlight 3.

Silverlight 1.0

Silverlight 1.0 is released for Mac and Windows.  Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a browser. You can only use java script to create silver light applications in 1.0 version.

Silverlight 1.1

Silverlight 1.1 will include a cross-platform version of the .NET Framework, and will enable a rich .NET development experience in the browser. It include a subset of the full .NET Framework base class library you use today, including support for collections, generics, IO, threading, globalization, networking (including sockets, web-services and REST support), HTML DOM, XML, local storage, and LINQ. You’ll be able to use any .NET language to develop a Silverlight application (VB, C#, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Pascal, and more).

Silverlight 2

Silverlight 2 includes a cross-platform, cross-browser version of the .NET Framework, and enables a rich .NET development platform that runs in the browser. Developers can write Silverlight applications using any .NET language (including VB, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby). Silverlight 2.0 is substantially faster than its previous version.

Silverlight 3

Silverlight 3 latest version of silverlight which just launched in the month of July is going to make it on top of the RIA platform of choice. The new version of Silverlight has better 3-D graphics support and the ability to offload graphics work to a GPU for a smoother, hardware-accelerated user experience.

Silverlight offers the power needed for smart client business apps, with the best deployment and navigation characteristics of the web.

Silverlight represents the future of development for most of us. Silverlight applications is going to make a difference to websites in a very real way in the near future

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