Silverlight is Microsoft’s new cross browser, cross-platform web technology for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, Ruby and integrates easily with existing web applications.
Today Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac and Windows based operating systems.
Silverlight was previously code-named WPF/E. Applied Innovations has supported Silverlight hosting and the delivery of Silverlight based web applications since the release of .NET Framework 3.0 on all shared hosting, dedicated hosting and Windows VPS hosting plans are silverlight compatible and ready.
On Friday, Microsoft announced the release of Silverlight 1.0 Release Candidate and the Silverlight 1.1 Alpha Refresh for both Windows and Macintosh based operating systems. If you haven’t experienced Silverlight now is a great time to install the browser plug-ins and experience it. If you have already installed an earlier version of silverlight then you’ll be happy to know it automatically installs updates for you.
What can I do with Silverlight and what are others doing?
Probably the best way to experience Silverlight, is to experience Silverlight. Many consider Silverlight as ‘Microsoft’s answer to Flash’ but it really goes beyond that. I do believe it builds on the idea of Flash but provides a very open API and really offers next generation technology.
Below is a demo of “Silverlight Airlines” a Silverlight based application showing just what you can do with Silverlight to develop a new rich user experience.
Silverlight Airline Sample
During a keynote at MIX this year, Scott Guthrie demo’d the power of silverlight with an Airlines example. Using managed code they were able to easily program Silverlight to create a rich user experience within the browser. you can view the demo online, download the code and even read David’s blog for more information about this sample.
NetFlix Next Generation Video-on-Demand player.
Also at MIX 07 this year, Netflix demonstrated a next generation video on demand player built in silverlight. The Netflix video player actually allows you to watch a video over the Internet with a friend in a different location. So while traveling you can start the video, link up with the Children back home and experience the same video experience over the Internet. You can learn more about the Netflix video by watching the online video.
This is just a sampling of what’s available using Silverlight, if you visit the Silverlight Showcase you can see more real-world Silverlight applications and even download the source code to begin building your own Silverlight applications around the ready made examples.
What do I need to run Silverlight applications?
To view silverlight applications today, you’ll need to install the Silverlight plug-in, currently available for Internet Explorer and Mozilla on both the Mac and PC.
What do I need to develop Silverlight applications?
Microsoft ASP.NET Futures (July 2007)
This release includes Silverlight controls for ASP.NET
After you’ve installed that then you’ll want to download the Visual Studio developer tools to start developing Silverlight applications and the Expression designer tools to start designing your Silverlight application. For more information on these tools you can read the Silverlight overview.
The Silverlight Developer Tools:
Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2
The next generation development tool.
Microsoft Silverlight Tools Alpha Refresh for Visual Studio (July 2007)
The add-on to create Silverlight applications using .NET
The Silverlight Designer Tools:
Expression Blend 2 August Preview
Professional design tool to create user interaction for Silverlight.
Expression Media Encoder Preview Update
Feature that will be part of Microsoft Expression Media that allows you to create and enhance video.
A professional illustration and graphic design tool to create Silverlight assets.
For Silverlight Documentation, samples and add-ins, you’ll probably want to download the SDK’s:
Microsoft Silverlight 1.0 Software Development Kit Release Candidate
Download this SDK to create Silverlight Web experiences that target Silverlight 1.0 RC. The SDK contains documentation, samples along with templates for Visual Studio and has also a ?Go Live? license
that enables building commercial applications.
Microsoft Silverlight 1.1 Software Development Kit Alpha Refresh
Download this SDK to create Silverlight Web experiences that target Silverlight 1.1 Alpha. The SDK contains documentation and samples.
You can Learn from samples and Documentation and Microsoft has made many of these available today:
Visit the Quickstarts to create your first application.
Download a sample from the Silverlight gallery.
Have a question? Visit the Silverlight Forums.
Read the Silverlight documentation.
Stay informed, subscribe to the Silverlight RSS feed.
The final puzzle piece: Silverlight Ready Hosting
Finally, you’ll need Silverlight Hosting and Applied Innovations is Silverlight hosting ready on all hosting plans. If you plan to use any of the Visual Studio 2008 features that make use of the beta .NET Framework 3.5, you’ll need to run these on a Windows VPS or Windows Dedicated Server today. As always with beta releases we don’t deploy these on production servers but will make available Free Beta shared hosting servers shortly.
Developers are encouraged to try out our developer VPS hosting plan which is an ideal platform for testing new technologies like this! With our developer VPS plan you’ll have full control of the operating system and be able to extend the server as needed for your application.
AppliedI.net is excited about the release of the new Silverlight 1.0 RC and 1.1 Alpha plug-ins and looking forward to watching Silverlight based websites develop in the coming months. We believe this technology will bring the Internet user experience to a new level and really expand on the adoption of Internet applications for mainstream applications. Today, Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming the new business model for applications and Silverlight will only encourage it’s adoption.