Microsoft schleps Silverlight 2

Microsoft has introduced multimedia creation and streaming software, Silverlight 2, which will be available for download from October 14.

Designed as a QuickTime and Flash competitor, Microsoft also announced support of open source communities by funding advanced Silverlight development capabilities with the Eclipse Foundation’s integrated development environment (IDE) and by providing new controls to developers with the Silverlight Control Pack (SCP) under the Microsoft Permissive License.

“We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed,” claimed Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft.

The corporation also claimed Silverlight adoption is growing rapidly, reaching 50 per cent penetration in “some countries”.

“During the 17 days of the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing, NBCOlympics.com, powered by Silverlight, had more than 50 million unique visitors, resulting in 1.3 billion page views, 70 million video streams and 600 million minutes of video watched, increasing the average time on the site (from 3 minutes to 27 minutes) and Silverlight market penetration in the US by more than 30 percent.”

Microsoft also revealed that broadcasters in France (France Televisions SA), the Netherlands (NOS), Russia (Sportbox.ru) and Italy (RAI) also chose Silverlight to deliver Olympics coverage online. In addition, leading companies such as CBS College Sports, Blockbuster Inc., Hard Rock Cafe International Inc., Yahoo! Japan, AOL LLC, Toyota Motor Corp., HSN Inc. and Tencent Inc. are using Silverlight.

Microsoft announced plans to support additional tools for developing Silverlight applications by providing funding to Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider and Eclipse Foundation member, to lead a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE. Soyatec plans to release the project under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge and submit it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project.

Microsoft also will release the Silverlight Control Pack and publish on MSDN the technical specification for the Silverlight Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML).

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