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Microsoft launches Silverlight (formerly WPF/E) to compete with Flash

In hopes to make a dent in the market dominance of Adobe’s Flash, Microsoft unveiled at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference a new cross-browser, cross-platform browser plug-in called Silverlight.

Previously called Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), Silverlight works with on both Macintosh and Windows with a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.  Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Silverlight enables developers and designers to use existing skills and tools: for designers, Microsoft Expression Studio, and for developers, Visual Studio.

Silverlight uses Windows Media Video (WMV) and Microsoft’s implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard to deliver video files can that scale from mobile devices to full-screen high-definition displays.

One such interested party in Microsoft’s internet video solution may be Netflix, which announced its on-demand video service earlier this year. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joined Microsoft’s board of directors just last month.

“Netflix needs rapid and reliable scalability so all members can enjoy DVD-quality movies immediately on our instant-viewing feature,” said Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt. “We depend on Microsoft Windows Media technologies, and we’re excited about Microsoft Silverlight as a platform to enable instant watching of great content for all our members, on multiple platforms.”



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Competition is good
By i4mt3hwin on 4/18/2007 6:33:46 AM , Rating: 1
I think it's good for every company to have competition but honestly adobe/macromedia has been doing a good job at being the only company designing this technology.




RE: Competition is good
By TomZ on 4/18/2007 8:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree - I think that innovation and the pace of development with Flash has been practically zero for quite some time now. The authoring tools are also only so-so and should be developed further. I hope that this annoncement spurs some more investment in Flash.


RE: Competition is good
By adt6247 on 4/18/2007 4:57:25 PM , Rating: 3
You're obviously not a Flash developer...

The Flash 9 player was a humungous improvement in terms of performance and features. They also released Adobe Flex 2 -- a developer-centric flash platform built for rapidly developed web aps. ActionScript 3 is an implementation of ECMAScript 4, and is really, really powerful.

Before that, Flash 7 brought quite a bit to the table. Flash 8 wasn't anything too special. Flash CS3 (Flash 9), based on the betas, is going to be fantastic. The Photoshop/Illustrator integration alone will save me hours per week.


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