Silverlight to bring Windows Media support back to Mac

SilverlightAlthough Microsoft has continued to support the development of Office on the Mac platform, many of its other Mac offerings have been left for dead, including Internet Explorer, Virtual PC and Windows Media Player. But according to a blog post by a member of the company’s Macintosh Business Unit, Microsoft’s newly-announced rich internet application platform Silverlight will change that somewhat.

Blair Neumann is excited about Silverlight because it’s been developed with support for both Windows and Macintosh systems. What exactly does that mean for Mac users?

How about streaming Windows Media audio and video, supported by Microsoft, including HD video up to 720p? Check out these Mix 07 demos (I’m personally a major fan of Top Banana) and you’ll start to get a sense of the kinds of exciting rich internet experiences that Silverlight helps to enable.

The last version of Windows Media Player that Microsoft developed for Macs was version 9 (nearly three years ago) while the most recent for Windows is version 11. The company now provides a download of Telestream’s Flip4Mac program available to Macintosh users, which provides Windows Media video and audio playback in the QuickTime Player but does not support content that is protected with Windows Media digital rights management.

Although Silverlight will not provide a way to play downloaded files in a standalone player like QuickTime Player or Windows Media Player, it looks to bring new support for streaming media to Mac browsers. This will be useful if more sites begin using Windows Media 11 files to stream audio and video.

Did I mention that Silverlight is supported in both Safari and Firefox browsers on the Mac? Okay, I admit, I’m feeling just a little bit of Silverlight excitement.

It’s great that they’re supporting the Mac, but couldn’t they have come up with an original background graphic on their site? It looks suspiciously like the default Aqua Blue desktop images that have been included with each major version of OS X.

Aqua Blue smallSilverlight page

Silverlight Excitement