Microsoft Silverlight

Although I had heard that Microsoft had announced it was going to release Silverlight, I hadn’t actually had the time to look into it. Got back from the gym this evening and decided I’d find out a bit more about it. I have to confess at first glance im very impressed.

First things first you can find out more about it at the Official Product Homepage. You can download Silverlight Community Technology preview from here. Once installed you’ll need to restart your browser and now if you go back to the Silverlight product homepage and click on the video in the centre of the screen to view it in the embedded Silverlight player.

You can also click on this link to view a demo of the Silverlight Page Turn media feature. This demonstrates how Silverlight uses XAML to create a presentation of images. When the demo loads, hold down your mouse button on the page turn icon and drag the page as though you were actually turning a page in a book. It’s quite nice.

On their own these two demo’s dont really give you a huge insight into where MS is headed with this product. Naturally its being positioned to compete with Adobe’s Flash. However to get a feel of just how far Microsfot has come watch this video! This video shows the power of MS Expression Media Encoder and Silverlight working together. The Real Time video editing capabilities using hardware graphics acceleration is really impressive. So too is the ability to create and stream media with chapter links, so you can jump to predefined points in the stream, by embedding meta data into the video’s.

By far the most impressive feature is called Video Brush, that in the demo is used to overlay a video on a jigsaw, here’s the impressive thing you can move the individual pieces of the jigsaw around and the video is still plays inside the pieces. Whilst this is eye candy, it could have amazing real world uses … picture in picture over the web for example!

Learn more about Expression Media Encoder and SIlverlight over at Tim Sneath’s Blog.

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