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    Microsoft Silverlight 4.0 Released

    On April 12 at the .NET Framework 4 and SilverLight 4 launch event Microsoft announced that Silverlight would be available for download. In addition, Microsoft will deliver a release candidate of Expression Blend 4 (compatible with Silverlight 4). The new version presents a broad range of features for in-browser applications and standalone ones. In the former role, as a browser’s application, Silverlight’s is competiting with Adobe’s Flash. The two are used to build complex, interactive sites. But Silverlight 4 builds on what has existed before by providing support for technology like webcams and microphones.

    Plug-ins are now more compatible, for example, with Google’s Chrome browser as well as other browsers. Support for Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows, plus Firefox and Safari on the Mac OS X ialso exists.

    Microsoft is promoting Silverlight in order for developers can see it as a way to build easily-deployable, plus data-driven business applications at reduced costs than using the full .NET programming development environment. The .NET environment is a full blown application development system, ususally involving technical expertise in the area. But with Silverlight, application development is faster and easier. Silverlight can compete with products like Adobe’s AIR using these technologies. Silverlight version 4 brings such features as charting capabilities, clipboard support , and print support.

    For both groups of developers, Silverlight 4.0 offers a wider set of tools including broader controls, support for right-to-left languages, improved networking support, and a better XAML parser, which makes Silverlight 4 easier to use for desktop developers.

    Silverlight 4 provides media and enterprise application and media capabilities, out-of-browser flexibility, and tools support via Visual Studio and Expression Blend with Sketchflow to enable application development and interactive experiences. Microsoft’sMIX 2010 conference in March Microsoft executives said that Silverlight adoption has continued at a rapid pace, with installations approaching 60 percent of all Internet devices worldwide—an increase of nearly 15 percentage points in just four months.

    Enterprise customers such as Major League Soccer, BBC, eBay, Netflix, NBCOlympics.com and CT Corp., a Wolters Kluwer business, are using Silverlight. Also, customers such as Associated Press and eBay, and partners such as 352 Media and Planview, have announced their commitment to Silverlight 4.
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