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15.1.2009

2 min read

Thoughts about Silverlight

The first article in the series of Silverlight application development articles. It makes a general introduction into this undoubtedly very promising technology introduced by Microsoft.

Introduction into Silverlight technology

Today I’d like to tell you about Silverlight. First of all, what is Silverlight? In official Microsoft site about this technology we can read: Microsoft Silverlight is a free runtime that powers rich application experiences and delivers high quality, interactive video across multiple platforms and browsers, using the .NET framework. You can use the link http://silverlight.net/ to get more information and working applications on Silverlight. The current version of Silverlight is 3.0 Beta (and though it is still a young technology, we already managed to have some experience with it. So if you're looking for silverlight development services, please check our page about our services ). It is supported on the following OS: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OSX 10.4. And now we can use Silverlight 1.0 verison on Linux platform via Moonlight 1.0 project. Also Silverlight is supported on following web browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0/7.0/8.0, Mozilla Firefox 1.5/2.0/3 and Safari 3.1. In the plans: Windows Mobile 6 and Symbian (Series 60) and Opera.

Reasons to have a closer look at Silverlight technology

I won’t compare Silverlight with other similar technologies because you can find that in almost all blogs about this technology. I just can say, that seems Microsoft has managed to develop a very powerful competitor of Flash and the like, making the web even more beautiful, with the beauty easy to create and maintain. So, for me choice was obvious — Silverlight! I used the following arguments:

  • It is .NET Framework. If you write or would like to use that powerful technology, you should choose Silverlight, and you will immediately feel how lucky you are not to bother about integration of anything into anything else, as was the case with Flash;
  • Windows Azure. If you would like to use services from Windows Azure, you should choose Silverlight. And Azure is our common web future;
  • Silverlight is a perfect substitutor of HTML. We can use Silverlight everywhere where HTML is used. It is a very simple sentence but with a big opportunity. In all sites we can add tag  with link to your XAP file – that is all. E.g. we can write Silverlight applications for social sites such as Facebook, MySpace and etc. and use OpenSocial (http://www.opensocial.org/).

As you can see Silverlight isn't the technology only for creating beautiful effects. You can develop very difficult business applications and use all the power of .NET Framework and Azure Services Platform.

Useful Silverlight links

More information about this technology you can find following these links: 

Artyom G, .NET team, Binary Studio

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