Silverlight: not just for the desktop


Microsoft_silverlightBy now you’ve probably heard some buzz surrounding Microsoft’s Silverlight platform that was unveiled at Mix07 this week. It’s easy to overlook it from a mobile perspective, but regular readers already had some familiarity with it: what used to be the Windows Presentation Foundation (used in the Times Reader, for example) has evolved into Silverlight.

I say evolved because Silverlight is much more than WPF ever was: it’sa product that can be used in many different browsers and operatingsystems. Windows and IE won’t be required for Silverlight apps, Firefoxor Safari on Mac OS X are just fine.

Think about that for a second: one Microsoft-based platform across various browsers on different system environments. New and exciting stuff, but it gets better. Take this quote from TechCrunch regarding Silverlight for mobiles:

"Silverlight was demonstrated today on a Windows mobile device as partof a new service that the NBL have built. The demo showed bothSilverlight applications and media streaming running on a mobile phone- so Silverlight even at this stage is about more than just the desktopbrowser and desktop market. With windows mobile and Symbian now the twodominant mobile platforms, I can’t see any reasons why we won’t seeSilverlight on Symbian as well – thus spreading the platform across thevast majority of both desktops and mobiles, something that alternativeplatforms have not managed to do."

Silverlight on Windows Mobile and….Symbian, perhaps? This situation reminds me of this year’s CES: much of the Vista air left the CES bubble when Apple announced the iPhone….and they weren’t even there. The Silverlight announcement at Mix07 comes before the Apple WWDC and I can’t help but wonder if Apple and other feel like Microsoft must have at CES.

There’s so much more to this story and the TechCrunch overview is among the best I’ve read on the topic; I highly recommend it because in my opinion, Silverlight is now poised to invigorate Microsoft and your computing experiences on the desktops, laptops and handhelds. Once you read the overview, let me know if you agree.

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