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Microsoft Silverlight 3 offers H.264, full HD video

updated 09:45 pm EDT, Sat July 11, 2009

MS Silverlight 3 released

Microsoft has released Silverlight 3, a new release of its multimedia software for Web. The software is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Version 3 of new version of software, designed only for Intel-based Macs, offers better performance, GPU acceleration, tools to run on the desktop, and support for higher quality audio and video, including native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline. For developers, it new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements to enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.

Specifically, Silverlight 3 allows developers and designers to apply content to a 3D plane, more pixel shader effects, bitmap caching (and a new bitmap API), themed application support (along with cascade styles), new effects such as spring and bounce with custom mathematical functions to describe an animation, and enhanced control skinning. Microsoft also added over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls such as charting and media, new layout containers such as dock and viewbox, and controls such as autocomplete, treeview and datagrid.

Moreover, for developers, Silverlight 3 includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA, SEO optimizations by automatically mirroring database-driven RIA content into HTML along with access to all system colors, allowing partially-sighted people to make changes such as high contrast color schemes for ease of readability by using familiar operating system controls.

According to the company, version 3 also a new "out of browser experience" that enables users to place Silverlight applications directly onto their PC and Mac, with links on the desktop and start menu--all without the need to download an additional runtime or browser plug-in. It further allows Silverlight applications to work whether or not the computer is connected to the Internet. Other features for developers include an updated designer-developer workflow, Photoshop and Illustrator import, new behaviors for better interactivity, and enhanced data support.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sbarton05

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I use this software for Netflix and it works great on the Mac. The lack of progress by Apple to use Quicktime as af streaming alternative has me worried they are going to loose out in this market. AppleTV needs subscription based streaming offerings or Quicktime is going to become extinct in the coming generation of on-demand TV.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Avoid this like the plague. The last thing we need is a proprietary internet plugin/development platform controlled by Microsoft gaining traction. You need a Windows computer to design content for Silverlight... just the latest ploy in locking other platforms out of the market.

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Welcome to the Fail

    To late M$

  1. IxOsX

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No good

    No good except for Microsoft lovers ...

  1. George3

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Flash/Silverlight= c***

    No thanks to either one. Flash is the most annoying thing on the internet these day. And as mentioned by WiseWeasel development of Silverlight content is only on Windows.

    I'll stick with Quicktime.

    If video content providers would use the standard video codex H.264 there is no need for Flash or Silverlight.

  1. mjtomlin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    for suckers only

    Microsoft tech only leads you down one road... towards Windows. I don't care how great it may be now, in the end, all your efforts will be derailed and left as Windows only projects. Good luck to you!

    I refuse to install Silverlight or Air and have tossed out Flash on my desktop. These damn companies need to start supporting standards rather than investing in proprietary technologies. I know a lot of people think standards take forever to be ratified, but that's only because of companies like Microsoft and Adobe who refuse to adopt and support them.

    Apple's OpenCL specifications only took 6 months to be standardized. If these big corporations got off their asses and helped, the web would be a much better place for all of us.

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And there are still these STUPID morons saying that the technology is good and that you should install it in order to access HD on the web...NO f****** WAY!

  1. JonathanBadeen

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The facts

    sbarton05: Quicktime has streaming support either by using QuickTime/Darwin Streaming Server or more recently through http streaming. Don't confuse QuickTime with a service like Netflix. QuickTime is a video player, Silverlight is that and more. Silverlight != Netflix and QuickTime != AppleTV.

    George3 talks about using h.264. Well this will help its adoption because it uses h.264. So does Flash and in Windows 7 Windows Media Player will too (out of the box). This means that you can now play h.264 video in QuickTime, Flash, and Silverlight. You can also play it using nothing but an HTML5 "video" tag in Safari and soon Google Chrome. If you want to complain about h.264 adoption then complain about FireFox and Opera who refuse to support its use in HTML5. The real reason that Silverlight is used in Netflix has nothing to do w/ streaming. It has to do w/ strong DRM. Silverlight has it, nobody else really does. I'm not saying this is a good thing as I hate DRM but it's a fact. As long as the iPhone stays dominant h.264 will be a huge contender. It's really what is driving h.264 adoption and is probably why YouTube switched/transitioned to it over On2 VP6.

    mjtomlin: I'm also for standards and avoid developing anything in Flash unless it is absolutely necessary but you can't blame MS and Adobe. Where is the profit in developing an open standard. They are corporations with obligations to stockholders and employees. Also, another large problem with the lag in web tech is idiots not upgrading their browsers and plugins. Certainly they could make better browsers but developers can't really develop for those browsers until people actually use them.

    Everybody: I don't like Silverlight and hope it dies but many of these complaints are stupid. I do appreciate that Netflix is finally able to provide me content because of Silverlight.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Avoid

    You need a Windows computer to design content for Silverlight... just the latest ploy in locking other platforms out of the market.

    Gee, and you can only develop content by using a Mac.

    Oh, wait, I'm sure that's different somehow. It's a marketing strategy or something, rather than a ploy. Esp. considering more people probably want to develop iPhone apps than silverlight content.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If video content providers would use the standard video codex H.264 there is no need for Flash or Silverlight.

    But that won't help. Because the standard has no support for DRM, and content providers have a desire to keep everyone from just downloading and playing their movies. So if they support H.264, they'll have to add a DRM component to it (like Apple does with their iTunes videos) and then you'd need a special player.

    And then you'd all be whining about everyone not supporting standards like Apple again.

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