Q: Why should I use Silverlight 2?
A: Nowadays Internet provides an invaluable platform for people to be informed of what's happening around the world. I cannot imagine a life without Internet, considering the conveniences it brings to us. Want to find out where to have dinner tonight? Booking a vacation without calling? Lost directions when driving? Sure, open a web page and it will direct you to the right places. As Internet carries more and more info, its contents need to be presented in a better way. Most of web users want rich interactive applications (RIA) that are visually appealing, flexible in structure and easy to play with.
Based on .NET technologies, Silverlight 2 is a cross-brower (IE, Firefox) and cross-platform (Windows, Mac) plug-in that delivers the next generation of web experiences. For developers, the advantages of using Silverlight 2 is huge. Silverlight 2 is designed as the subset of windows presentation foundation (WPF). Silverlight 2 applications can be easily written in microsoft visual studio, with SDK/tools installed to your machine. You don't have to learn a whole new language to make Silverlight work, as its Xaml + code behind structure does most of the tricks for you. Silverligth 2 supports around 30 great out-of-the-box controls in its toolbox, such as TextBlock, ToggleButton, ListBox, Calendar and Datagrid, etc. You can simply drag and drop these controls onto the design surface, which work instantly like a snap!
So, why not give Silverlight 2 a try?
Q: Where should I start?
A: Jesse Liberty has come up with pretty good online tutorials that are very useful for 1st-time Silverlight developers.
I also found Scott Guthrie's blog posts (Diggs application) a lot helpful. These blog posts are well written and should give you a good start point too.