Last week Microsoft hosted the second edition of Mix, the event for the web and graphic design community. Last year I believe Microsoft launched the Expression portfolio of tools at the event. This year the big news for me is Silverlight. Microsoft announced the next version of Silverlight, which seems to getting quite some good traction, the next version of Expression tools, and more interestingly, Silverlight Mobile.
Silverlight is meant to be a mass-market cross-platform rich-media technology. It received a huge endorsement from Nokia as the company announced their SYmbian smartphones will support Silverlight Mobile. Microsoft then announced Silverlight for WIndows Mobile. This is all very intresting because surprisingly, Flash Lite has not been very popular so far. I have only seen very few apps built on Flash. The announcement will give Silverlight an increadible head start in mobile devices, shipping in tens of millions of phones per year.
From a technology perspecive, Silverlight provides Flash-like multimedia capabilities with a few technological advantages like enhanced codecs, much better zoom and other small features. The key difference is that you can build SIlverlight applications with .net capabilites. Thismeans the programmability of Silverlight applications is incredible, giving them the bility to connect to full-blown applications, data sources, etc,; and that millions of .net developers can now develop SilverLight applications.
In short, mobile applications are about to get better. Much better. Nicer-looking, too.