One of the more popular topics covered on Codeguru in the past few months has been Silverlight. Ever since its introduction as a beta product codenamed "WPF/e", there has been buzz around this product. Whether viewed as the "Flash killer" or simply viewed as a new way to quickly deliver interesting dynamic content, Silverlight has caught many developers' attention.
Today Microsoft released Silverlight 1.0 to the Web. This means Silverlight 1.0 is no longer a beta product, but rather it is now fully released. You can access Silverlight 1.0 at:http://www.Silverlight.org
Microsoft describes Silverlight as "a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering richer user experiences on the Web." While Microsoft generally uses the phrase "cross-platform" to mean various versions of their operating systems, in this case, Silverlight is truly targeting multiple platforms. From a browser perspective, it can target Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Safari. As to actual platforms, it obviously works with Microsoft's Windows. In addition to Windows, Microsoft is working with Novell to make sure it also works on Linux. This Linux support is dubbed project "Moonlight" and is based on the project started on mono-project.com. For more on the Linux version, you can go to:
Down the road, Silverlight 1.1 will bring added features beyond what is in the Silverlight 1.0 release that came out today. These features will include managed code support, support for dynamic languages such as Jscript and Python, a UI control model based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), support for LINQ, and more.
If you want to see an example of what Silverlight can do, check out either www.Tafiti.com or www.Popfly.com. These are web sites created by Microsoft using Silverlight.
Tafiti (Figures 1 through 3) is a new search site that offers the simplicity of Google along with the ability to view just search results, image results, news, RSS feeds, and more. You can even get an interesting tree view of search results. Although it is unclear what the value of the tree is, the view is still cool.
Popfly (Figure 4) is a community based site that lets you create Mashups and Web sites using an interface created using Silverlight.
Dave Bost, a Microsoft Developer Evangelist indicated that within 12 months or so, all of the Microsoft properties that deploy rich interactive features on their web sites will be employing Silverlight to do so.