Microsoft slips out Silverlight 5
Time to put it to sleep?
In one of its quieter launches, Microsoft has made Silverlight 5 available for download, and rumors suggest this may be the last major upgrade for the code.
Among the full list of improvements are hardware decoding of H.264 unprotected content using the GPU, support for 64-bit browsers and a rewritten graphics stack using built-in XNA Games Studio 4.0 graphics libraries for vertex shading and basic 3D. New sound effects and a variable video replay rate have also been added.
Postscript Vector printing is now supported, which should improve the finished product and help reduce file sizes. Text handling has seen several additions, including the character spacing and support for RichTextBlock and OpenType.
Silverlight 5 is also using a new Trusted Application model from Redmond, which uses “a group policy registry key and an application certificate, meaning users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks such as multiple window support, full trust support in browser including COM and file system access, in browser HTML hosting within Silverlight, and P/Invoke support for existing native code to be run directly from Silverlight,” the team said on its blog.
There has been speculation that this could be the last version of Silverlight Microsoft ships, after redundancies on the team and questions raised over the company’s commitment to cross-browser support and developer relations. Redmond is saying it will support this build until 2021, and is still winning new customers, so there may be life in the old dog yet. ®
> Trusted Application model
> full trust support in browser including COM and file system access
> native code to be run directly from Silverlight
Those guys never learn, do they? "Do you want some security threats and intrusion vectors with your web software, sir? Of course you do!"
No Flash on LoveFilm?
So LoveFilm has just cut-off all its customers who can't run Silverlight. That includes non-Intel Mac and GNU/Linux users. And what about the many non-PC devices that (used to?) have access to the LoveFilm service, like the PS3?
Well I see from the announcement that "this change doesn’t affect or apply to any of our streaming devices (PS3, iPad, internet TVs, etc); only PCs, laptops and Macs."
And apparently this was done on the insistence of the MAFIAA®, as a "robust anti-piracy measure". But how "robust" is it if half the service is still using Flash, with little prospect of those other devices ever using Silverlight? And how exactly does it benefit the MAFIAA® to cut-off customers and send them running into the welcoming arms of The Pirate Bay?
They didn't really think that one through very well, did they?
One day the MAFIAA® is going to wake up to the fact that DRM and platform-dependent technologies only serve to LOSE revenue. If you take away people's choices, they have no option but to seek "alternative" methods, legal or otherwise, most of which don't send any money in the direction of the publishers.
But then very little of that money ever trickles down to the actual artists anyway, so maybe it really doesn't matter either way. Maybe the only "fair" way of obtaining content is to "steal" it from The Pirate Bay, then send money directly to the artists. That way we get content without restrictions, and the people who actually deserve to be paid for that content get their money.
One thing's for sure: I'll never be a LoveFilm customer. I can't be. LoveFilm has effectively blacklisted me from its service, by refusing to allow my OS access to its content.
Oh well, that's their loss, not mine.
... the place silverlight doesn't run. So I'm not sure what your argument is.