Microsoft: Silverlight More than a Flash
Microsoft gives a name to its Flash-killer technology. The technology formerly known as WPF/E is
now known as Silverlight.
Microsoft has given a go-to-market name for its cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in for delivering the
next generation of user experiences and rich Internet applications for the Web. The technology formerly
known as WPF/E is now known as Silverlight.
Microsoft announced Silverlight at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas on
April 16. The NAB announcement highlights Silverlight uses for media users. The software company will
announce further details about the technology at its own Mix07 conference, which starts at the end of April
and runs through May 2 in Las Vegas.
Forest Key, a director of product management in the Microsoft Server and Tools Division, said Silverlight
integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher quality experiences with lower costs
for media delivery. In a briefing with eWEEK, Key demonstrated how Silverlight offers consistent
experiences to both Mac and Windows users on a variety of browsers, including Internet Explorer, FireFox
As for which platform Silverlight will support next, Key said, "Linux is an open question. We're looking at
the desktops and browsers by volume. We want to put muscle behind supporting the bulk of the market."
And Linux support is still under discussion, he said.
Silverlight uses WMV (Windows Media Video), Microsoft's implementation of the Society of Motion
Picture and Television Engineers VC-1 video standard, ensuring compatibility with the millions of hours of
content already available on the Web. It also supports interactive video experiences from full-screen
high-definition graphics to mobile scenarios.
Support for the VC-1 codec "means quite a number of surfaces support Silverlight, more than Flash," Key
said, noting that Adobe's Flash - which is probably Silverlight's primary competition - has limited support