Microsoft has released Silverlight 3, the latest version of its Silverlight technology. Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform (Mac OS, Windows and Linux) and cross-device browser plug-in that helps companies design, develop and deliver applications and experiences on the Web. Installed as a free browser plug-in, Silverlight enables a new class of rich, safe, secure and scalable cross-platform experiences. Silverlight 3 comes with lots of new features such as out of browser support, Smooth Streaming, 3D support, GPU acceleration and H.264 video support.
Silverlight 3 offers a new set of features for building light-weight, sandboxed companion experiences for the Web that run on the desktop. Silverlight out of browser allows websites to build even closer, persistent relationships with customers. It enables the application to be placed in a restricted store on the user’s machine; and then provide a link directly to it from the user’s desktop or start menu. This is all enabled within Silverlight 3 without any additional download of runtime or the need to write applications in a different way.
Smooth Streaming feature dynamically detects and seamlessly switches, in real time, the video quality of a media file that a Silverlight player receives based on local bandwidth and CPU conditions. Consumers with high bandwidth connections can experience HD quality streaming while others with lower bandwidth speeds receive the appropriate stream for their connectivity, allowing consumers across the board to enjoy a compelling, uninterrupted streaming experience which leads to extended audience engagement.
With support for native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline, Silverlight 3 brings rich, full-screen, stutter-free media experiences to the desktop. It also contains new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements that enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.
Now, Sliverlight comes packed with over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls: charting and media, new layout containers including dock and viewbox, and autocomplete, treeview, and datagrid are a few highlights. The controls come with nine professional designed themes.