Feeds

Silverlight 2 beta 2 - Go Live if you dare

Tires hard against Adobe, must try harder

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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.

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.