Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight is an application framework for writing and running rich Internet applications, with features and purposes similar to those of Adobe Flash. The run-time environment for Silverlight is available as a plug-in for web browsers running under Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. While early versions of Silverlight focused on streaming media, current versions support multimedia, graphics and animation, and give developers support for CLI languages and development tools. Silverlight is also one of the two application development platforms for Windows Phone, but Silverlight enabled web pages cannot run on Internet Explorer for Windows Phone as there is no plugin.

Over the course of about five years Microsoft has released five versions: The first version was released in 2007; the latest version was released on May 8, 2012. It is compatible with multiple web browsers used on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, and with mobile devices using the Windows Mobile and Symbian (Series 60) platforms.

A free software implementation named Moonlight, developed by Novell in cooperation with Microsoft, was released to bring Silverlight versions 1 and 2 functionality to Linux, FreeBSD and other open source platforms—although some Linux distributions do not include it, citing redistribution and patent concerns. However, in May 2012, Moonlight was abandoned because of the lack of popularity of Silverlight.

Silverlight has been used to provide video streaming for many high profile events, including the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and the 2008 conventions for both major political parties in the United States. Silverlight is also used by Netflix for its instant video streaming service.

Read more about Microsoft Silverlight:  Adoption, Development Tools, Licensing, Mono Moonlight Implementation, Relationship To Existing Web Standards, History

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