Silverlight – The next generation web experiences

Today at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, Microsoft is again demonstrating how we are enabling our customers to have richer experiences on the web by announcing Microsoft Silverlight - a new, cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in for building the next generation of Media Experiences and Rich Interactive Applications. Formerly known as “WPF/E,” at NAB we are announcing our new brand identity along with the incredible support from our partner ecosystem. This is just the beginning and sets the foundation for MIX where we will unveil the end to end platform/tools vision for developers and designers.

Microsoft Silverlight will enable content providers to deliver media experiences and rich interactive applications that incorporate media, graphics, animation, and much, much more with full application functionality on both Windows and Mac platforms and inside IE, Firefox and Safari. Silverlight users will also enjoy compatibility with the broad ecosystem of Windows Media (VC-1) enabled tools and solutions, including existing and upcoming IIS and Windows Streaming Media server technologies.

As part of our big day, here are some additional things that we are announcing:

  • Expression Media Encoder – a feature of Microsoft Expression Media, which enables rapid compression and Web publishing of digital video from a variety of popular formats including AVI and QuickTime.
  • IIS7 Media Pack for Windows Server –the Media Pack is for customers wishing to enable cost-effective delivery of downloaded media through bit-rate throttling and other advanced features such as cache-proxy support.
  • Broad support from leading media companies and solution providers for Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft’s approach to media experiences and rich interactive application development.

You can learn more about these releases at the Silverlight Virtual Press Room which was also launched today.

As I mentioned, this Silverlight announcement at NAB is only part of the story, the rest will be unveiled at MIX including details about how Silverlight is a core component of Microsoft’s broader .NET platform. Keep your eyes on Mix07 as part of Ray Ozzie’s and Scott Guthrie’s keynote – be sure to check it out.



Comments (77)

  1. John Dowdell says:

    If it’s "next generation", then what new abilities does it add to what people are already doing, today?


  2. yuvipanda says:

    Silverlight, as a name, sounds too sexy to come out of Microsoft 😀

    I can feel a storm brewing at Mix…

  3. Joshua says:

    John, lets keep that a surprise for MIX.  I hope you are coming.

  4. I thought Microsoft was going to wait until MIX 07 to announce some of this stuff, but chose the National

  5. I thought Microsoft was going to wait until MIX 07 to announce some of this stuff, but chose the National

  6. Apolon says:

    That is fantastic news. Seeing the words "based on the .net framework" on the Silverlight web site is a relief given the most recent CTP had nada functionality in this area.

    Soma: How about making it truly cross platform/cross browser and making it available on Linux and all the Windows Mobile versions?!

    I’m sure the latter will happen, but from a developer’s perspective having a version that runs on Linux (maybe based on Mono?) would be extremely useful. It would make many development technology decisions a no-brainer. Most developers would still deploy the resulting software mostly on Windows systems but not have to develop multiple versions to get significant cross platform coverage.

  7. I thought Microsoft was going to wait until MIX 07 to announce some of this stuff, but chose the National

  8. Matt Powell says:

    Tonight we announced the official name of wpfe….Microsoft Silverlight! This is the beginning of a bunch

  9. Silverlight – The next generation web experiences(Somasegar’s WebLog)より SilverLight というソリューションが発表されています。

  10. Oran says:

    Great job on the branding!  I like it.  Now please please please fix the "WPF classic" branding.

  11. Having been involved in a few of the notably-mediocre names such as "Windows Presentation Foundation"

  12. Ok, so I’ve been quiet, but I can explain it — I’ve been working really really hard on Silverlight and

  13. The official name as well as site is now out for Silverlight, which used to be called WPF/E. Lookin'

  14. Microsoft has announced that the little cross-platform, cross-browser cousin of Windows Presentation

  15. RSS It All says:

    Ok, so I've been quiet, but I can explain it — I've been working really really hard on Silverlight

  16. says:

    Can you clarify if Expression Media Encoder is the same as Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition (which was cancelled/pulled quietly) few months ago????

  17. Ahmad Lafi says:

    I don’t think this name will last too long, it doesn’t sound professional

  18. Savvybytes says:

    Hope this be a Silver bullet for Flash. Great work ! Thanks.

  19. NikolajW says:

    Hele blogosfæren, eller ihvertfald den del der beskæftiger sig med Microsoft teknologi genlyder her til

  20. You’ve heard snippets of details about what this thing code-named "WPF/e" could do, maybe even downloaded

  21. Sam Stange says:

    Much better brand name than WPF/E! I agree with Savvybytes. I’m looking forward to MS’s best efforts in making flash-like competitor. .NET wouldn’t be where it is today without Java, ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails, etc… Hopefully, one day we can say Silverlight wouldn’t be where it is today without Flash.

  22. For all of you didn’t noticed the name change of code name WPF/E, it is now Microsft Silverlight . Silverlight

  23. msdn Austria says:

    Auf der NAB Konferenz in Las Vegas wurde der neue Produktname, sowie weitere Details über die neueste

  24. Those of you, who visited my session on Windows Presentation Foundation, hopefully remember speaking

  25. Somasegar says:

    The Expression Media Encoder is a brand new tool focused specifically on preparing media for delivery as part of Silverlight-based experiences and is not related to Windows Media Encoder.


  26. Microsoft got in to ‘web 2.0’ naming conventions?!

    i like the new name for wpf/e.

  27. andyed says:

    Isn’t a Flash a Silver light !

  28. Late Sunday night – Soma announced that WPF/E will become Microsoft SilverLight – He also that this just…

  29. john says:

    It’s pretty strange that the silverlight page not have any silverlight features.  So far, I have no idea what this product will look like – all hype.

  30. After lurking in the shadow of it’s codename for several months Silverlight has finally been announced

  31. Alright, I realize that nobody will read this but I’m quite annoyed and need to spout again. In my ever

  32. Brain Matter says:

    And the award for worst product name of the year goes to…

  33. Alan Shemper says:

    Where can one download the Linux client?

  34. Joshua says:

    "Monday, April 16, 2007 12:21 PM by john

    It’s pretty strange that the silverlight page not have any silverlight features.  So far, I have no idea what this product will look like – all hype."

    Download the ctp, and try the page again – you may be in for a surprise.  As Soma announced Microsoft is releasing a beta at MIX, therefore Microsoft did not want to push auto-download, but provide the freedom of choice for early users – you can download the CTP, to experience some of the Silverlight features, or can wait for the beta release shortly.  As I said before, the best is yet to come – MIX is going to be excellent!

    Plus, I have been told that many features of Silverlight are being demonstrated at NAB.  As I think you may be John from adobe who posted earlier (sorry if you not..) – ask your colleagues to wander over from their booth since it’s right next door on the floor chart.

  35. Matt Whitby says:

    I tried some Silverlight samples.

    One loaded but didn’t work, one crashed Visual Studio (twice), my browser crashed three times.  Flash will live on for a good while yet.

    matt.whitby at gmail dot com

  36. Have you been following the evolution of the technology that was previewed under the codename ‘WPF/E’?

  37. C# Nuggets says:

    As has been blogged all over the place , WPF/E has been renamed Silverlight (Note: lower case 'L').

  38. John Dowdell says:

    So, you’re using the phrase "next generation" in press releases and verbatim blogposts today, but won’t describe what you think may be nextgen-ish about it, until some future date, is that what’s going on here…?

    If so, then why not hold off on using phrases like "next generation" until you’re actually ready to say what you mean?

    So far, the strongest meaning I can see is "it’s the next generation of Microsoft technology", an inward-looking orientation, which merely catches up to prior generations of the rest of the world’s web technology.

    And it’s Rich *Internet* Applications, not some redundant "interactive" revisionist claptrap… this was cleared up five years ago, for goshsakes:

    (So the CLR goes back in, with some indeterminate result on download size and developer concerns about which engine to write to…. what<em>ever</em>.)


  39. I think this is very interesting.  Especially when it comes to video compression.  As many content producers like myself struggle with how to let our users publish videos in a standardized format the only existing solutions are flv.  Flv is great, but requires either you have a bunch of servers doing video compression with FFmpeg (not cheap) or get ripped off by commercial solutions like on2 and sorenson that actually do the compression client side.

    If Expression Media Encoder can allow compression to be done client side without licensing fees per encoding I think there will be many content publishers who choose it over flash just from a cost perspective.  I really hope it includes this as it could be the #1 way to find sites suddenly using it instead of flv.


  40. Microsoft has taken the covers off it&#8217;s high-def Flash competitor, Silverlight. The browser plugin is available for Windows &amp; Mac for IE, Safari &amp; Firefox (but not Opera for some reason). It&#8217;s still only the February WPF…

  41. Anyone notice that is pointing to Apple?

  42. Adam Reynolds says:

    RIA = Rich Internet Application NOT Rich Interactive Applications

    You can’t just take an industry wide understood acronym and change it.

    Anybody know any applications which are not interactive?

  43. Colin Brookes says:

    "Anybody know any applications which are not interactive?"

    … actually, Microsoft application half the time … 🙂

  44. Dave Mennenoh says:

    The video on the silverlight site doesn’t play for me. I see no silverlight content to compare to Flash either. Based on .net? Ick… So a bunch of .net developers have a new toy. So what? I certainly see no Flash killer here. Might be a great tool, but I highly doubt you’ll have many Flashers jumping ship to this.

  45. As we head towards MIX Microsoft has announced our new rich media / interactive platform for the web

  46. Jacob says:

    How can you claim Silverlight enables richer experiences when its mostly an attempt to replace current technology? There doesnt seem to be anything much more rich or interactive about it over what we already can do.

    Additionally, I agree with the other comments that changing the acronym for RIA is a bit haughty.

    Way to be like Sony.

  47. David says:

    Good, a very inspiring product name. Can we expect a rebranding of the full-blown WPF coming as well? "Silverlight™ Ultimate" for the ultimate experience… 🙂

  48. DVD says:

    Is this going to do anything for high data websites? Will it give me the power to display millions of records at a time at blazing fast speeds? What benefits?

  49. Matt says:

    Doesn’t work on OS X 10.4.9’s Safari, yesterday’s build of WebKit, or Firefox  How do I report bugs?

  50. Soma Somasegar has posted a blog post on his blog on the release of WPF/E, now known as Microsoft SilverLight.

  51. RSS It All says:

    Soma Somasegar has posted a blog post on his blog on the release of WPF/E, now known as Microsoft SilverLight

  52. Andre says:

    I bet after Adblock and Flashblock the next add-on for Firefox will be Silverlightblock.

  53. richard says:

    We use both Windows and Linux at our operations. Is there a plan to have Silverlight work on Linux as well? If not we will stick with Flash. I thought the whole deal with Novell was to improve cooperation between Windows and Linux in mixed environments?  I was also surprised that the new windows media player plug in for Firefox didn’t include a version for Linux! If Microsoft is going to want to please customers they are going to have to think a little more ahead.  

  54. What says:

    This is a Flash killer? Are you kidding?

    The example on the main page are laughable.

    Nice scrollbar on page #2 with the videos.

    The arrows don’t even work.

    The code editor looses the mouse if you drag outside

    the divider bar. Bush league.

    If you think I’ll trade in ActionSript for XAML you are

    smoking some serious weed.

  55. I am very excited about this, particularly the video features and the rich interaction with SharePoint via the Interactive Media Manager. I hope we will see a proliferation of tools designed for various technical levels so that everyone can play 😉

  56. standards says:

    "Enhance existing standards"

    That quote makes me shudder, given Microsoft’s history of "enhancing" existing web standards.  Looks like Silverlight will be the IE of the Flash world.


  57. andyed says:

    >>If you think I’ll trade in ActionSript for XAML you are

    If they let you do C# , which I don’t see why not, then it will make ActionScript look like a cheap toy.

  58. EpsDel says:

    Cross platform… right. Does it work on Linux? No.

    Your definition of cross platform is extremely wide.

    2 desktop platforms = cross platform.

  59. De halve wereld heeft er al een post aan gewaagd, maar nu vond ik een streaming filmpje: Video: Microsoft®…

  60. Wtf says:

    >> If they let you do C# , which I don’t see why not, then it will make ActionScript look like a cheap toy.

    Not if it isn’t integrated into an IDE right on the timeline

    where you are working.

    THAT is what they are up against. Not the language itself.

    I can work with or without a timeline but ALOT of Flash

    users are married to a timeline workflow.

  61. Nick says:

    This looks awesome, but will when will Microsoft release a service pack for vista?

  62. Nick says:

    This looks awesome, but when will Microsoft release of service pack for Vista?

  63. Bola Rotibi says:

    I thought about posting a shortening my blog, but as there are a few stupid assertions, I decided to keep it in its entirety.

    I hadn’t realised that there was a trademark assigned to the acronym RIA.  There also appears – as one respondent appears to imply – some sort of unwritten industry law that prevents anyone accurately describing ‘something’ if its description results in forming the acronym RIA or any other well used industry term! I can not help feel that this kind of purist ownership of acronyms is nonsense.  Rich Interactive Applications is as valid as Rich Internet Application as is Really Ineffective Applications.   What separates them is meaning and context.

    In our report on the topic, Ovum defines Rich Interactive Applications as

    "applications that combine the light touch and ubiquity of a web application with the interactivity and functionality of a desktop app and offers a consistent and effective user experience, both online and offline across a variety of devices and networks."

    From what I understand of the technology, concept and strategy behind Silverlight and the demos that I have seen, Microsoft is right to describe Silverlight as a rich interactive application. Of course they are not the only ones in the game, Adobe, Tibco and others have products that fit the description of a rich interactive application.

    Interactivity’ is actually as important as ‘Internet’ – in some cases more.  Why? Because in my opinion, it is closely tied to the notion of user experience and engagement.  Nor is it bound since it explicitly states interaction irrespective of the format. Interactivity is also defined by the Oxford English dictionary from the perspective of computers or electronic devices, as allowing a two way flow of information between it and a user, responding to the user’s input.  Fairly clear cut, especially when you consider the fact that not all Rich Internet Applications are interactive. In fact a vast number are no more than just rich presentation interfaces (eye candy etc.) and are not interactive.  

    I welcome Microsoft’s latest product Silverlight as I do Adobe’s Apollo because they herald the next wave of ‘next generation applications’ where the focus is on the user experience and more thought is given to the effectiveness of that interaction and the context in which it occurs.  

    Silverlight, based on the technology and the strategy being pushed by Microsoft has a lot to offer.  And while clearly a lot of work has gone into its development – a noteworthy achievement considering the starting point – it is still an early version. Clearly there is room for improvement.  Once more of the community use it in anger the holes will become apparent and Microsoft will need to be quick to rectify them if it is to reach the credibility level it requires.

    When all said and done, there are plenty of Microsoft users who expect the company to provide them with products that are both current and allow them to leverage the latest technologies.  There will also be plenty of non Microsoft customers who might just want an alternative to what is already out there.  Maybe they are not as enamoured of competitor products – shocking I know.

  64. andyed says:

    >Not if it isn’t integrated into an IDE right on the timeline

    >where you are working.

    I have never been comfortable with the timeline approach. Does Apollo use a timeline ?

    >?THAT is what they are up against. Not the language itself.

    I think the point for me is that if SilverLight lets me code against it in C# then it is a killer. Right now it is simply not rich enougth without that.

  65. Noticias says:

    &quot;WPF/E&quot;, el nuevo plugin de navegador creado por Microsoft para la nueva generación de aplicaciones

  66. Just the facts Ma'am says:

    The main Silverlight page is vague, and I would agree with calling it hype.

    I downloaded the video and expected to find a demonstration of the technology in action.

    Instead I was presented with this stinger of guys swirling around on skateboards, and people pretending to use ‘Minority Report’ style interfaces floating in free space. No sign of anything remotely approaching concrete technology being described or demonstrated.

    I am none the wiser. Can we have some information about the technology please?

  67. Elko says:

    Crossbrowser without Opera looks like a stupid idea, did opera dont like the Plugin because of security-flaws? Or is it Microsofts next target?

  68. siep says:

    just downloaded and installed the .dmg like the instructions said, restarted FF2/mac and safari, and i get this blank area on the silverlight page. nice work guys.

  69. Forest Key says:

    Elko, re: Opera, the plan IS to support Opera… schedule and specifics will be announced as soon as we finalize.

  70. FTeR says:

    here are some demos:

    a saw them on the silverlight page earlier, but i cant find them now.

    the "Page Turner" and the "Grand Piano" are my favorites 🙂

    the "WPF/E Pad" can give some hint how this stuff works.

    silverlight is a browser plugin implementation of the WPF presented in Vista and .Net3.0, and this almost tell everything.

    it’s an xml based markup language like html or ASP. vector based graphic (there is a plan for 3D support). programmable thru javascirpt (sl integrates into the html DOM) and will be programmable tru C# or VB, thx to the little CLR they’ll implement.

    getting started:


    (i think there is some problem with the verions on the page, it want to use a very early version)

    i think designing with SL is as easy as with html (using notepad). so, if SL only know as many effects/features as flash, than SL would still be a better choice. even with apollo, flash still a hard thing.

    with SL there are still the better integration to html and the little CLR. action script simply can’t be compared to C# (or VB).

    i hope the mono team or novell will make the linux version of sl.

    i might add, it is an unusual thing from ms to chose such a meaningless name as silverlight for a product.

  71. FTeR says:

    oops, with apollo i ment Flex 😉

  72. FTeR says:

    oh, i got it.

    there was no sl runtime on my new vista 😀

    that was the version problem, and this is the answer to why i cant saw the demos 🙂


  73. Shripad says:

    Ha!! Crossplatform did Microsoft test this with XP I tried the sample link which microsoft gave using firefox and you start to tons of errror messages I understant its beta but  I think it is not good enogh to be alha release also

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