Everywhere Microsoft Silverlight

Michael Schwarz on Sunday, January 6, 2008

To prepare my laptop for the next weeks I reinstalled my last image to get rid of all the beta software I tried the last months. Oh, I have to install Silverlight [1] to be able to develop and show some demos. While visiting some web sites from Microsoft I got a small popup showing me that I can get a better experience on that site when I install Silverlight 1.0. Here are some screen shots:

Microsoft Home Downloads MSDN Silverlight Technet

Well, it looks that they are using the same popup on web sites that newly using Silverlight. If you once have visited one of those web site you will never be asked again (clear cookies to get it back).

I'm sure that Microsoft get Silverlight 1.0 (and later this year the for me more important version 2.0) on all PCs. If you have a look at Alexa [8] and search several Microsoft domains you get a very high availability around the world. Some web sites (like the Surface demonstration [9]) still need Flash to be installed, hm...

Update: While installing some of my needed software I tried the above web sites to check where Silverlight is used to get a better experience. Hm, not very easy to find the place where Silverlight is used. At the beta download center Silverlight is used to display some nice controls, but what I don't like is that now everything is Silverlight. I can remember when Macromedia Flash years ago came up on every PC that web developers tried to build whole web page in Flash and that there are many reasons to not use it for everything. Check e.g. your favorite search engine for all captures pages [10] below the new beta download site. I get today two pages, one page that you get when you first open the beta page [11] and the second that host the Silverlight control [12]. The download page is a typical web page compared to an web application. I don't know why we need another Flash plug-in for those effects. Why not generating Adobe Flash SWF files for those controls? When using Silverlight 2.0 I see the benefit of C# or any other .NET language and the DLR. The ASP.NET AJAX [13] page itself shows the Silverlight recommended popup, too, but I don't see any new stuff that will give me a better experience. The same for MSDN and TechNet web sites.

I hope that there will be a better experience in the next days. Otherwise I don't see any benefit installing Silverlight 1.0. Other web sites are using Silverlight already as a new media player, at the ASP.NET AJAX web site videos are using Windows Media Player. Why is Microsoft not using a Silverlight player instead when the plug-in is installed? And I don't need a new technology to play videos.

I'd like to collect the features that web sites using Silverlight already can offer. Please add you comment below!!