Feeds

Silverlight 2 beta 2 - Go Live if you dare

Tires hard against Adobe, must try harder

High performance access to file storage

Review Microsoft has released beta 2.0 of Silverlight 2.0, complete with a Go-Live license that permits commercial deployments for those sufficiently brave.

Silverlight 2.0 is the make-or-break release for Microsoft's would-be Flash killer, since it includes the .NET runtime. While .NET has succeeded as a web platform, it has never been fully convincing on the desktop. The runtime is huge and can be troublesome to install, the Windows Forms GUI framework is slow and ugly, and the Windows-only platform requirement is an increasing burden as the Mac gains market share.

Silverlight solves all three problems. The GUI framework is Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), based on an XML layout language called XAML. The runtime is under 5MB, delivered as a browser plug-in. Cross-platform is limited, but includes Intel Mac so meets the most pressing need.

However, Microsoft is racing against Adobe Systems, whose mature Flash client covers the same territory. The pace of Silverlight development is energetic, but raises concerns that too many bugs may slip through.

I experienced this first-hand when installing the beta 2.0 development tools. Keeping Visual Studio 2008 running sweetly with all Microsoft's latest add-ons has become arduous. The Silverlight tools beta interacts with the Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack (SP)1 beta; you have to scrutinize the release notes in detail and even then the install may fail and require manual fixing. This is the kind of deployment nightmare that Silverlight aims to fix for end users.

Microsoft's Expression Blend

Expression Blend 2.5 - complex but unavoidable

Silverlight developers actually need two products: Visual Studio 2008 with the necessary extensions, and Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview. The idea is that developers write code in Visual Studio, while Expression designers work on the same XAML files. The concept is good, but the situation is messy in beta 2.0.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.