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Impact - A Blog by INM

Microsoft Releases Silverlight 2.0

October 15, 2008 by Andrea Simmons

Earlier this week, Microsoft finally rolled out version 2.0 of Silverlight, its competitor to Adobe Flash. This version has been over a year in the making and was promised to be the “one” that made Silverlight a true contender with Flash Player.

Version 2.0 supports:

  • Powerful built-in controls: DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
  • Deep zoom: For ultra high resolution imagery.
  • Advanced skinning and templating support: For easy customization of applications.
  • Cross-platform and cross-browser support: Support for Mac, Windows, and Linux in Firefox, Safari, and Windows Internet Explorer.
  • And many more....

One of the most interesting points around the announcement was the install base that Microsoft quoted in its press release. The company claims that one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight installed. Besides being an unusual way to present install number, this figure seems a bit high, given the relatively low developer adoption of the technology. However, with Silverlight used for both the Olympics and the Democratic National Convention this year, it may be feasible.

What does the release of Silverlight 2.0 mean? Well, it’s a very positive step toward broader penetration of rich Internet applications (RIAs) and it provides developers with a real choice in technology outside of Adobe. However, Silverlight has a long way to go to catch up with Adobe’s 99 percent install base with Flash.