Microsoft released Silverlight to compete with Flash to deliver rich interactive applications for the web that incorporate video, animation, and interactivity. Like Flash, which is currently the de facto standard for web video, Silverlight is a free download plugin for displaying media and interactive content in web pages. In Microsoft’s words, Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plugin for delivering next-generation media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. In other words, it competes with Flash and other plug-ins that add interactivity to websites. The company’s Windows Media Video format is widely used, particularly for downloads. But Adobe’s Flash Player has become the dominant choice for streaming video used by high-volume sites such as YouTube and MySpace.
The most significant thing about Silverlight is that it basically puts the Windows Media Video format in the browser in a seamless way. This free plugin allows Windows and Linux PCs as well as Macs to display seamless animated ads, run minisoftware or games, or play DVD-quality video, all inside the web browser.
It also has the ability to run in fullscreen HD video mode while supporting 720p video, and through mobile devices. Silverlight videos embedded within a web page can be resized and have higher fidelity than Flash videos.
Like Flash, it’s also accompanying development tools for both designers and software developers. It’s coveted target audience are the media and entertainment companies bringing video to the web. As reported in “Computerworld.com”, Microsoft has signed with internet video broadcasters such as Netflix, Brightcove and US Major League Baseball to bring their video contents using Silverlight. It seems that Silverlight rich media software is not only a would-be Flash killer but also a high-definition video delivery system that takes on, among others, Apple’s QuickTime. Some even proclaims that Flash is dead although this might sounds a bit premature for such claims.
Will this be a flash killer? Only time will tell…
“Silverlight official website” – http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/
“Microsoft Silverlight Vs. Adobe Flash : 10 Differences” – http://shoutat.blogspot.com/2007/08/microsoft-silverlight-vs.html
“Silverlight vs. Flash: The Developer Story” – http://weblogs.asp.net/jezell/archive/2007/05/03/silverlight-vs-flash-the-developer-story.aspx