Microsoft’s Silverlight finally launched

Silverlight logoIf you remember, back in April we told you of the imminent release of Microsoft’s Silverlight , their “cross browser, cross platform plug-in for delivering rich media experiences”. Well, Silverlight is now out and you can finally install it and give it a try. This lightweight (1.4Mb) plug-in works on most popular browsers both on Mac and PC. It’s really simple to install, and you’ll just need to restart your browser to make it work. We went to the Silverlight home page to see the plug-in in action. Although it’s got a lot of snazzy effects, obviously set up by Microsoft to impress users, the plug-in worked smoothly and we experienced good image quality.

Silverlight can stream high resolution video well and supports HD quality videos.Developers will be glad to know that you can write managed .NET code that runs right in the browser. Using Expression Studio and Visual Studio (which are separate from Silverlight), designers and developers can build their own Rich Internet Applications with Silverlight.

On the downside, Silverlight supports Windows Media audio and video, VC-1 and MP3 but not other popular formats like H.264, Flash or AAC. Flash still remains the reference by far, but with many big content providers looking to use Silverlight we should be seeing more of it in the near future.

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