More good news for Silverlight it seems, as based on two new job postings on Microsoft's site (1, 2), the company is looking to hire additional Silverlight engineers, as well as bring the technology to more of its devices--including the Xbox.
Blog TechTrends discovered and reposted the positions earlier today, before Microsoft removed the reference to the Xbox, which was referred to as "Silverlight on the Xbox as part of the next wave." The posting has since been changed to refer to "various devices we plan to enable over the coming years."
The news comes less than two weeks from Microsoft's Silverlight-focused developer event, where the company plans to detail "the future of Silverlight" in a keynote address by Scott Gutherie, corporate VP of Microsoft's developer division. This is also after much brouhaha about the technology's role as part of Microsoft's ongoing strategy and how it will play into the development of future products and services.
The idea of Silverlight coming to the Xbox is not so far-fetched, though. It would serve many goals, notably making development for the platform more cohesive with some of Microsoft's other developer tools--including the ones used for making Windows Phone 7 applications. If Microsoft is positioning the next Xbox to play within its app ecosystem, as the inclusion of a Zune Marketplace suggests, getting Silverlight on there is a necessary first step.
Silverlight on the Xbox would also bode well for Microsoft finally including a Web browser as part of the Xbox's system software, which it has not yet offered. In all truth, this did not crop up as a necessity for the device until Microsoft began adding third-party applications like Facebook and Twitter, where if you came across a URL someone had posted, you would be unable to follow it forward. There's also that not-so-secret meeting that took place between Adobe Systems' and Microsoft's CEOs last month, where getting something like Flash onto the Xbox, and the Windows Phone 7 could have been among the topics of discussion.
Another outlier in the case for Silverlight befitting the Xbox is Netflix, which makes use of the technology for its movie streaming service on the PC and Mac. While it got off to a bumpy start, it's since gone on to have many of its kinks ironed out, enough to the point where the company is now offering the streaming portion of its service a la carte. If there are benefits--either in performance, or faster compatibility with Netflix's feature updates, Silverlight could help make a big difference in giving Microsoft an edge over the myriad devices that can now hook up with the video service.