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MS Silverlight 3 touts GPU use, smooth HD

updated 10:30 pm EDT, Thu July 9, 2009

Microsoft Silverlight 3

Microsoft tonight launched the public version of Silverlight 3, its animation and video plugin for the web. The rival to Flash is the company's first to use hardware graphics acceleration both for 3D and for offloading the work of decoding video from the main processor. Regardless of graphics power, the update is also the first to promise a near-seamless HD video experience: a "smooth streaming" technique that automatically lowers the bitrate to start playback immediately and quickly brings it back up to provide the maximum quality the connection allows.

Subtler but noticeable improvements include support for more universal media standards like AAC, H.264 and MPEG-4, hardware pixel shader effects on sufficently new graphics hardware and multi-touch support for Windows 7. Developers can also create browser-independent apps that can keep running even when the browser is closed.

Installing version 3 demands either a Mac running OS X 10.4.8 or newer with a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo or faster as well as 128MB of RAM. Windows users can run it using a 500MHz processor of any type, 128MB of RAM and either a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows XP, Vista or 7. It works in most common browsers including Internet Explorer 6 and up on Windows as well as Firefox 2, Safari 3 or later versions on either OS platform.

by MacNN Staff



  1. derbbre

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Developers can also create browser-independent apps that can keep running even when the browser is closed."

    Sounds like trouble...

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    System requirements

    Mac requires a 1.83GHz Core Duo (basically two processors) but on the PC it requires a 500MHz CPU; basically a lowly Pentium from 1996 will work too! Wow that shows the disparity between the optimization on their platforms. Shows great dedication to the Mac version already.

    Though in all fairness, Adobe Flash has the same disparity in performance.

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They've got this thing running about as well as QuickTime five years ago - it can even run MPEG-4 that industry standard that's - oh yeah - based on QuickTime. Why does this company feel then need to constantly reinvent the wheel?

  1. George3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No thanks MS.

    Still have not loaded it. Don't need it. Don't want it. Heck I don't even want it on my Windows VM.

    Why would I want something that SUCKS just as bad as Flash. I don't.

  1. brainworks

    Joined: Dec 1969


    netflix instant

    unfortunately I need this for netflix instant viewing. I have to admit, it's performance within boxxee is slick. Is netflix the only company backing this platform? I work in advertising with lots of flash guys - ms is a client. They trained a few of them on it, but we've never used it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: netflix

    NBC used it for the olympics last year. And several other sites are using it for video.

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