The fall and rise of Microsoft Silverlight
Before hitching up with Windows Phone and Windows 8, Microsoft's cross-platform rich Internet application framework gets a modest upgrade
Another good addition is support for H.264-encoded media playback, which now pushes processing overhead to GPU-accelerated hardware. Improved performance will be key to this important niche for Silverlight going forward.
Faced with new competition from HTML5, Silverlight's role in cross-platform content delivery becomes somewhat uncertain. Nonetheless, Microsoft continues to promote Silverlight in several high-profile apps, including Microsoft Dynamics GP and Windows Azure. Even the Visual Studio LightSwitch beta automatically generates Silverlight code now.
Silverlight remains uniquely useful for media DRM. Ad hoc enterprise apps can still benefit from Silverlight's quick data binding. Silverlight games could proliferate due to the merging of XNA Games Studio graphics libraries into the framework. And as a self-contained packaging ecosystem, Silverlight could very well become the de facto standard for application delivery to Windows Phone, Windows 8 tablets, and even the Microsoft MediaRoom IPTV platform.
This article, "The fall and rise of Microsoft Silverlight," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in programming, Microsoft Windows, and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.