Moving forward with next-generation software in two critical realms, Microsoft released Wednesday initial populace beta versions
of its Silverlight 2 multimedia system presentation engineering and the Internet Explorer 8 browser.
The company announced the releases at its Mix08 conference in Las Vegas.
Implemented as a plug-in, Silverlight is Microsoft's Equus caballus in the industry's race to supply the most eye-catching visual
effects; it vies with Adobe's Flash Player and related to technologies. Silverlight is cross-browser, cross-platform, and
cross-device, Microsoft said.
and .Net. The beta is .
Internet Explorer 8, meanwhile, offers capablenesses such as as improved interoperability and full conformity with the Cascading
Style Sheets 2.1 specification. That beta is available .
With Silverlight 2, Microsoft brought out a host of early adopters, including NBC Sports, which is using Silverlight for upcoming
Olympic Games coverage; Hard Rock International, of Hard Rock Cafe fame; and Cirque du Soleil. Display capablenesses both for the
Web and mobile devices were highlighted.
NBC Sports bes after to utilize Silverlight to Webcast 2,200 hours of coverage. "You're going to be able to travel online and you're going
to be able to devour picture how you desire it, when you desire it," said Perkins Miller, senior frailty president of NBC Sports and
Hard Rock showed a Silverlight application enabling users to zoom along in onto images of stone memorabilia, while Cirque du Soleil
showed a performer-casting intranet application featuring video. In the mobile space, Weatherbug demonstrated a weather condition information
application running on a Nokia phone.
Microsoft's Silverlight impressed Mix08 attendant Chris Pels, president of iDevTech, a consulting house focused on Microsoft
technologies. "I believe it really takes the user experience to a different degree and especially through the browser," Pels
"I was very interested in the mobile device facet of it, too," he said. Microsoft Silverlight still must turn out itself in
the marketplace, Pels said.
Among the Silverlight inventions touted by Microsoft is "adaptive streaming," which estimates bandwidth capablenesses on the
"Basically, it can automatically pick the appropriate spot charge per unit and encoding to use," said George C. Scott Guthrie, general director in
the Microsoft Developer Division. He had recently .
Alice Paul Krill is editor at big at InfoWorld. Continued1 | | »