Microsoft To Release Silverlight 2 In Late Summer

Microsoft has been working like gangbusters to create the perception that its cross-platform multimedia runtime Silverlight is a viable alternative to Adobe's Flash, and the vendor will soon put updated tools in the hands of Silverlight developers. In a Thursday blog post, Microsoft developer Ashish Thapliyal said Microsoft is "targeting late Summer" for its release of Silverlight 2.0, which is currently in its first beta release.

Silverlight 2.0 supports VC-1, WMV, MP3 and WMA content, but Microsoft has no plans to support the Flash video (.flv), used by Youtube and many other Websites, said Thapliyal. Microsoft's rationale here is to avoid paying licensing fees and to keep the Silverlight download file size as small as possible, he added.

"Silverlight isn't designed with an extensible codec model in mind, so there is no date/version announced for this," wrote Thapliyal. A second Silverlight 2.0 beta is due in May, and this version will be very similar to the final release, according to Thapliyal. He said no details are available about the roadmap for Silverlight for mobile, or Silverlight v.Next, also known as Silverlight 3.

News Source: Information Week

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Yay. I installed Silverlight. So now what?

Until there is a video sharing web site in the same vein as Youtube but dealing in Silverlight, I don't care.

Why do I have the feeling that the Silverlight vs. Flash battle will go the way of the WINS vs. DNS fight years ago...

I've done some silverlight 2 development and enjoyed it. Learning curve wasn't as steep as flash and since I already know java the transition to C# took about 5 minutes. And it's great that you don't have to spend money on expensive tools

i think personally the most benefit will come from the interaction between designers and developers with silverlight. I see silverlight as more a media streaming piece of software, whilst flash as more a animation/game application

quite a few people have started using silverlight, however version 2 is the first version to fully incorporate c#.

sites such as hard rock cafe (http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/), nbc, microsoft and more are using it now.


As a web developer myself, we are in the process of investigating the possibilities. I think its just going to take time to fully adopt this product.

(garpunkal said @ #9)
quite a few people have started using silverlight, however version 2 is the first version to fully incorporate c#.

sites such as hard rock cafe (http://memorabilia.hardrock.com/), nbc, microsoft and more are using it now.


As a web developer myself, we are in the process of investigating the possibilities. I think its just going to take time to fully adopt this product.

Hmm running complex code on a client through a plugin (Although it doesn't seem to really be a plugin but an entire API), I really hope they secured the product. I'm sure content providers will love silverlight though as it apparently implements DRM. I'm just concerned that MS is trying to sidestep web standards by offering a platform that they feel will drive the next-generation web, but is under their control. What if silverlight becomes as important as HTML? It is patent encumbered and controlled by a single entity describing the standard.

This may be a great alternative to Flash for some web developers, but as an "end user", I see no reason to use this over Flash. In conjunction to, perhaps, but never by itself. Oh, and the fact that it doesn't play Flash videos? Nice move. Not so much of an alternative at all.

(Screaming Slave said @ #8)
This may be a great alternative to Flash for some web developers, but as an "end user", I see no reason to use this over Flash. In conjunction to, perhaps, but never by itself. Oh, and the fact that it doesn't play Flash videos? Nice move. Not so much of an alternative at all.

That post made no sense what so ever.

In conjunction to? Exactly what is it you think is missing from silverlight? And you don't see a reason to use silverlight by itself, but possibly silverlight and flash on the same page? Makes no sense.

I don't know why people bring up lack of .flv support. I don't know any webdevs that have their video assets as .flv files before they encode them for the web, so it makes no difference to them if they encode to .flv or vc-1.

Silverlight runs on Macs already, and Microsoft are indirectly supporting the Moonlight project, which will bring Silverlight to Linux. Later releases should including Windows CE and Symbian versions too. MS are serious about cross platform on this one; they have to be if they want to compete with Flash/ Flex.

Silverlight runs on Linux or Mac?.

Anyways, flash is (was) cool but to work on Actionscript is a real pain in the a**, the "ide" (Flash) is pretty outdate, there are many unclear concept and it's hard to manage/maintenance resources. MS can success in this point and bring many developers to do project on it.

(Vandalsquad said @ #5)
I like silverlight alot more then flash.. and so does anyone I talk to thats actually used it.

Probably because it's not as widely used as flash. Just wait until you see silverlight ads, silverlight intro screens, sites that insist on only using silverlight, or there's something you want to download but silverlight makes it annoying for you, etc etc

My experience has been the opposite - I haven't been impressed by the Silverlight usage on Microsoft sites. I'm not going to write off the entire technology based upon one preview but certainly nothing to drop Flash for. Also, I don't trust Microsoft with a replacement to Flash.

Flash uses Sorensen H.263, H.264, and VP6 encoding, it wouldn't really add that much to support all video formats. But MS has a history of not wanting to license from Sorensen. Flash is free to download so I'm guessing the licensing costs aren't prohibitive, it's more for political reasons.

It was Sorensen which refused to license codecs to Microsoft.
As a result, Microsoft had to remove support for quicktime files in later versions of Windows Media Player.
WMP 6 used to support quicktime.

(Express said @ #4.1)
It was Sorensen which refused to license codecs to Microsoft.
As a result, Microsoft had to remove support for quicktime files in later versions of Windows Media Player.
WMP 6 used to support quicktime.

That's a different codec, Flash uses Spark, which Sorenson was able to license out. As far as WMP I hadn't heard about that problem... I only remember this and this but I never heard about a problem where MS wasn't able to license the codec, do you have any information? As far as I know, QuickTime is now based on MPEG-4 so Apple would be able to do whatever it wants, and any past agreements with Sorenson were probably over when that happened. Those codecs haven't been mainstream in QuickTime since 2002 when QT6 was released with MPEG-4 support.

Been to a few sites were it's used, Microsoft ones obviously but it seems really solid, no issue installing, nice and simple. Video quality is excellent on streaming sites.

(OceanMotion said @ #3)
Been to a few sites were it's used, Microsoft ones obviously but it seems really solid, no issue installing, nice and simple. Video quality is excellent on streaming sites.

Why use it instead of Flash?

Has anyone started using Siliverlight yet? I've only done bits and pieces here and there, but with v2 we are getting the client-side mini CLR, so we can move a lot of the processing to the client side.

The problem I can see, is that many people are downloading SL, but only Microsoft seems to be using it.