Microsoft's Flash-challenger Silverlight 3 hits web
Ready to "light up" online Office apps
The next version of Microsoft's Flash-challenger media player has hit the web, ahead of Friday's official launch.
The final Silverlight 3 runtime for users and software development kit (SDK) for programmers have been published to the web and were available for download as of Thursday afternoon. You can get the SDK here and player here.
The player comes in a package that Microsoft promised would download in 10 seconds, but it seems to take a little longer judging from my experiences.
Microsoft's plans a formal launch of Silverlight 3 at a San Francisco, California event Friday morning.
The release comes ahead of Microsoft's massive Worldwide Partner Conference, where the company will evangelize Silverlight 3 against Adobe Systems' Flash and creative tools.
Download and install Silverlight 3 to the Mac
Version three closes many gaps in Microsoft's player that have held it back against Flash. Features include integration with a browser's forward and back button, ClearType for Windows and Mac, hardware acceleration, the ability to work offline and run outside the browser without an additional download. Plus there's support for touch-based input.
Partners also get a set of controls for charting and layout along with the (expected) integration with Visual Studio and the Expression Suite. While partners may be excited by Expression Suite, users of Flash - which dominates the media and interface market - will not be impressed.
Overall, however, version three should finally provide an alternative for Microsoft's design partners who are tired of handing off media and interface work to Flash experts.
Silverlight is also an important part of Microsoft's online services. The player will enable a web-based version of Microsoft's Office suite called Office Web applications, unveiled last October.
Office Web applications are now expected to be released for testing at Microsoft's partner conference next Monday in New Orleans, Louisiana, following the report of some blatant Web 2.0 self-promotion by a Rackspace employee and Twittery hints from a Microsoft evangelist.
Office Web applications are part of the planned Office 2010 suite, and they're intended by Microsoft to answer Google Apps, which come with competing word, spreadsheet, and presentation tools.
Microsoft has said in the past that Silverlight would "light up" features in Office Web applications. It'll provide sharp images, integration with Office Live Workspace to upload multiple files, and also the ability to share and edit documents simultaneously in real time.
Microsoft was unable to comment on the release of Office Web applications at the time of writing. ®
Alan Bourke - I disagree
What's wrong with HTML 5. It's HTML, that's what wrong with it.
Alan - if you think that Silverlight is superior to HTML then you are certainly unqualified to discuss the merits of browser pugin technologies.
If you have poor moral standards and think that supporting monopolies is OK then carry on blowing your trumpet for the OS agenda inspired Silverlight.
Personally, I will carry on creating professional web applications which work on EVERY web browser and every platform.
Also, your claim that Linux developers slag Silverlight off without understanding the technology is completely false. I understand the technology perfectly well and I can see that there are some merits to the architecture when compared to some areas of Flash. However, Adobe have at least made a stable 32bit and 64bit plugin for Linux.
Whether you like it or not, Linux has a big future and it is completely irresponsible to develop web sites or applications that are unlikely to function on it. A big part of web development is accessibility - if the site will never work for 1% of operating systems then you are making the site in-accessible for those users.
SEG - standards compliant sites are on the rise fool!
SEG - drawing an analogy between web standards and world peace is retarded.
We already have a web where pretty much every web page will work perfectly on any operating system and web browser (besides those old activeX infected sites that professional web developers mock regularly). This is because the W3C do a fantastic job of developing and standardising the technologies that make the web work.
So what you are really saying is that its OK to take a perfectly good model for the WWW and shaft it by introducing OS vendor lock-in technologies.
Don't want, thanks!
Thank you for your interest in my browsing experience. I have reviewed what you are offering and have decided not to take up your offer of a free plug-in. I'm sure I won't miss out on anything significant.
But thanks again for asking.