Over at Microsoft, there’s a new toy for us to play with called Silverlight, which is still in beta (testing). Silverlight is going to provide an enhanced user experience in that we users will be able to experience rich Web content and interactive Web applications from within the browser. Microsoft also describes its new product as:

Compelling cross-platform user experiences

  • Deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web that incorporate video, animation, interactivity, and stunning user interfaces.

Flexible programming model with collaborative tools

  • Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Silverlight enables developers and designers to easily use existing skills and tools to deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web.

Efficient, lower cost of delivery, and more capablmedia solution

  • Unified media format that scales from high definition (HD) to mobile with Windows Media Video (WMV), the Microsoft implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard, as well as support for Windows Media Audio (WMA) and MP3 audio.

Connected to Web, servers, and services

  • Easily mash-up and incorporate services and data from anywhere on the Web by taking advantage of the Silverlight support for LINQ and LINQ-to-XML while accessing that data with common protocols like JSON, RSS, POX, and REST.

I downloaded a copy of Silverlight and tried some of the demos located on the Web site. I must say it is very impressive. Detail is sharp, streaming is seamless, and overall it was a great experience. What surprised me was that Silverlight works with Firefox. It seems that Microsoft does realize that some of us do use alternative browsers.

If you would like to try Silverlight in beta, a free download is available here.

Let me know what you think. Comments are welcomed.

[tags]microsoft, silverlight, video, web, development[/tags]