An obvious question and one you’d expect to get an off-the-shelf answer to, so when I set out to answer it I first looked to the myriad definitions already written and the formal positioning statements for Silverlight. I duly consulted the definitions and, although technically accurate and informative, I couldn’t help feeling something was missing. The words didn’t represent the broad Silverlight story as I know it and the answer they gave could have been applied to any number of programming platforms.
So, I went back to the beginning.
7 years ago the Microsoft team set out on a mission to help developers and designers deliver better user experiences through improved tools, process and platforms. We created the Expression range of designer tools, initially targeting the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and then a new cross-platform, cross browser plug-in runtime (eventually) called Silverlight. In parallel to product development we also invested a massive amount of energy working with partners, web agencies, customers, communities, designers and developers to build a thriving ecosystem that makes the creation of great user experiences possible.
So what better way to start answering the question “What is Silverlight” than to point to a small selection of the outstanding user experiences it’s helped developers and designers to create.
- 24 Million people watching the 2008 Olympics online
- Exploring the Universe from your web browser
- Getting up close to President Obama before and at his inauguration
- Inspecting scratches on John Lennon’s glasses among the memorabilia at Hardrock Cafe
- High performance Webmail
- Watching over 12,000 Netflix Movies and TV shows over the Web
- Online gaming
- High Quality, live streaming of all 63 games in Basketball’s NCAA March Madness
By now you’d be correct in thinking the Silverlight story is about more than just a browser plug-in or a video display client. Silverlight lets you build on an existing ecosystem of 4 million developers, designers & partners, server products, world-class developer tooling to deliver groundbreaking user experiences and applications.
Next time : What is Silverlight – for Developers?