Is Silverlight the modern silver bullet that Microsoft will use on Adobe's Flash? Today Microsoft renamed Windows Presentation Foundation "Everywhere" (WPF/e) to Silverlight. Additionally, the announced that the product is still on schedule to release in the first half of the year.
Silverlight is a plug-in that will work in much the same way as the Flash plug-in seen on many web pages. When needed, the plug-in — which is under 2 mg — should indicate that it needs to be downloaded and installed. Instead of playing Flash files, the Silverlight plug-in will support XAML — the same markup language that Microsoft has created for Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). This markup will allow the embedding of video, graphics, and other multimedia to form rich interactive media.
Like the Flash plug-in, Silverlight will be free. Additionally, it will be available for a number of platforms such as Windows (obviously), and the Macintosh. Multiple browsers will be supported including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. Long term goals should include supporting alternative devices platforms (mobile) and other platforms.
Will Silverlight kill Flash? Only time will tell. With Microsoft's history of shooting down the competition, bets are good that a wooden box could be needed for yet another competitive product in the near future.
A community technology preview of Silverlight is available for download from: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/downloads.aspx According to Microsoft, this is the same download as the WPF/e February CTP with a simple name change.
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