April 30, 2007 2:14 PM PDT

Microsoft takes Silverlight beyond Windows

LAS VEGAS--Microsoft plans to extend its mainstream development tooling to Silverlight, its Flash challenger, and add support for dynamic languages.

At the Mix '07 Web developer and designer conference here, Microsoft executives said the company will allow .Net developers to create applications for Silverlight, its alternative to Adobe Systems' Flash format.

Microsoft on Monday released an alpha version of Silverlight 1.1 that will allow people to write applications using .Net applications such as C#. Version 1.0 of Silverlight will be available this summer.

The Silverlight 1.1 download will include an edition of the .Net framework that will allow .Net applications to run on Windows or the Safari Macintosh browser.

In addition, Microsoft has developed the Dynamic Language Runtime, software that allows developers to write .Net applications using dynamic, or scripting, languages.

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Video: Microsoft's Silverlight in action
Company hopes to trump Adobe with new software.

Specifically, Scott Guthrie, general manager in Microsoft's Server and Tools division, announced IronRuby, a version of the Ruby language for .Net. Over the past few years, Microsoft has hired experts in dynamic languages, including Python and JavaScript, to expand support for these languages.

Like IronPython--the version of Python for .Net--the source code for IronRuby will be available with an open source-style license, Guthrie said.

During his keynote speech, Guthrie showed how .Net tooling, including Microsoft's flagship Visual Studio and Expression Studio design tool, can be used for tasks such as debugging and coding on both Windows- and Macintosh-based browser applications.

A number of Microsoft partners showed off how they used Silverlight and the software giant's design and development tools to create media-based interactive applications.

MLB.com, for example, plans to launch a Silverlight media player this summer that will include enhancements to its current video offerings, according to MLB.com executives.

MLB.com has built a player that overlays statistical information, such as pitch count, over the video stream that the user can customize. With Silverlight, people can dynamically reshape video screens as they are streaming, said Justin Shaffer, chief architect of MLB.com.

Shaffer also showed off a version of Silverlight running on a future version of Windows Mobile that allows end users to view live games.

roundup
Microsoft's latest spin on Web apps
At Mix '07, software giant turns spotlight on Silverlight and opens up about its Web strategy.

Mike Warriner, chief technology officer of Intelligent Environments, an online banking application provider, said he liked the idea of having his current C# programmers write Silverlight applications. Rather than hire contract Flash developers, the company could use its staff of programmers and still have applications run on different operating systems, he said.

The outstanding question is whether Microsoft plans to offer Silverlight support for Linux. Although support for Flash for Linux lags behind Windows and Mac, Warriner noted that his company can still count on Flash Web applications running on Linux.

"Linux lets us say to the customer, 'This thing is ubiquitous,'" Warriner said. "Otherwise, we have to build a version of the Web site for Linux, which is expensive."

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13 comments

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MS lets others write applications
Microsoft has let .net people write some of Microsoft software for years- "under the counter", so to speak. I considered it a form of corruption in Microsoft then and still do now- they are only making it official. Many present Microsoft users will continue to be screwed by the sneaky methods used by those from outside Microsoft. I think that there is a possiblity that new outside developers will not have to resort to the tricks, worm, trojans and more
that the old corrupt setup welcome. The new guys will, in general, discuss their products openly, giving the consumers a chance that the old Gates/developers never gave because of their secrecy.
Posted by bobbydi (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
wtf
dude, you are making no sense
Posted by rthutchison (12 comments )
Link Flag
Another thing nobody wants, from a company nobody cares about.
Microsoft, you're clueless. We're all laughing at you!
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So um.....
Am I supposed to chime in here?

I mean somebody has to don't they? If not, you'd look rather silly don't ya think?

But wait, I wasn't planning on chiming in (in the sense of agreement that is).
Posted by angrykeyboarder (136 comments )
Link Flag
Let me guess
You are an unemployed Java Scripter? HTML designer? Something someone truely doesn't care about?

Flash is abhorently expensive. Flash is also very inefficient. We are looking forward to deploying this or at least getting some competition in the marketplace.
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
Link Flag
With Microsoft there's always a catch..
Quote: "Like IronPython--the version of Python for .Net--the
source code for IronRuby will be available with an open source-
style license, Guthrie said."

Open source-"STYLE" license..?!?! ah ha.. the hook's been planted..!!
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
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Partnership
This could be a test case for the new Novell (Suse Linux) and Microsoft partnership. They should bring this to Linux users if Microsoft wants full use by us internet users. I use OpenSuse 10.2 and would like to see this included as well as windows media support so I hope this is a start towards stronger cooperation.
Posted by kc9foh (1 comment )
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"Partners'
I don't no wether to be happy or scared.I like freedom and Microsoft likes money.How could they coperate with open source companies?What would they hope to gain as they already have market share(Vista Omg! can we get a bigger more expensive,clunky os)Flash player updates are slow to come to linux but they are free.So Microsoft is going to give stuff away...Hmmm?
Posted by ibmorjamn (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vapor vapor blah blah
Honestly, none of this is meaningful until there is product out the door and in the hands of users. Doesn't matter if it is alpha or beta or whatever. Companies can promise to do this or that, but until something is out there it's all hot air.
Posted by techforpr (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Weakly supported on non-MS products
Yeah they say they support other platforms, and tecnically they can
legally say that. The truth is it's just enough to say it - the products
don't work, are missing features and are updated months after the
Windows counterpart.

A Trojan Horse.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, exactly
"For the best experience, please use Windows Internet Explorer."
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
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