Microsoft Download Center using Silverlight 1.0

Michael Schwarz on Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some weeks ago Microsoft already published a preview version of the Microsoft Download Center. Now, there is a new URL for the preview version (which is now called beta): [1].


Well, I run the Fiddler tool to calculate the download size of all files (JavaScript, XAML, HTML, CSS and images):

Request Count:     111 Bytes Sent:        106.848
Bytes Received:    590.461

RESPONSE CODES --------------
HTTP/404:     1
HTTP/200:     110

RESPONSE BYTES (by Content-Type) --------------
application/javascript:     20.931
application/xaml+xml:     62.535
application/x-javascript:     96.222
text/xml:      3.463
application/octet-stream:     23.429
text/css:      1.113
application/jsonrequest:      4.221
~headers:     45.365
image/jpeg:     93.133
image/png:    213.541
text/html:     22.274
image/gif:      4.234

I hope that Silverlight applications in the future make more use of the compressed-file downloaded feature [2] in Silverlight. Some of the XAML files e.g. are not compressed, ok, it is still beta. Using the new Download Center feels very good, but keyboard support is missing totally.

imageWhen using the Silverlight-enabled version the first time you get a short About the Beta [3] message. What is interested is the node about accessibility:

This test version of the Microsoft Download Center does not include accessibility features that we make sure to include in our final releases, including support for browser page readers and the ability to change fonts.

As far as I know there is no way to use screen readers for Silverlight applications right now. Will that be changed for future releases? Wow, that would be a great new feature. Google currently sees nothing in the text-only cache [4].

To use the old version of the Download Center click on Exit beta in the upper right corner.