Morgan McCollough Bridge360

What is Silverlight?

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by Morgan McCollough

Silverlight is a relatively new technology from Microsoft that offers some of the same features as Adobe Flash, including multimedia, graphics, and interactivity in a Web context. It is distributed as a browser plug-in that provides a single run-time environment that can be used across multiple browsers in much the same way that Flash can be.

Some might question why Microsoft would go to the trouble of writing its own version of a tool that has become nearly ubiquitous across the Web. The obvious answer is that Microsoft is once again attempting to use its monopolistic power to gain control over yet another sector of the market–which would make sense, given Microsoft’s latest attempts to increase its footprint in various sectors of the Internet market. However, there is another, less obvious answer.

Recent developments seem to suggest that Microsoft is not really pushing Silverlight as a complete replacement for Adobe Flash. While it is true that Silverlight can serve the same purpose in terms of supporting multimedia-intensive websites, e.g. Netflix, it seems that Microsoft is putting more focus on the technology as a Web application development platform.

While an alternative to Flash that isn’t as buggy or won’t cause as many browser crashes is a welcome addition to the Web technology space, Silverlight actually offers quite a few more possibilities as an application development platform. In this sense, Silverlight is more on par with the Adobe Flex framework.

As they often do, Microsoft has done a pretty decent job of integrating support for Silverlight application development into its suite of Visual Studio development tools. With the release of Visual Studio 2010, Silverlight offers a very viable option for companies looking to develop client-server applications that are easily distributable over the Web.

Links to more information about Silverlight….

Author: bridge360blog

Software Changes Everything.... Bridge360 improves and develops custom application software. We specialize in solving complex problems at every phase of the software development lifecycle, removing roadblocks to help our clients’ software and applications reach their full potential in any market. The Bridge360 customer base includes software companies and world technology leaders, leading system integrators, federal and state government agencies, and small to enterprise businesses across the globe. Clients spanning industries from legal to healthcare, automotive to energy, and high tech to high fashion count on us to clear a path for success. Bridge360 was founded in 2001 (as Austin Test) and is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in Beijing, China.

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