Microsoft Launches Silverlight 3 and Expression 3
Delivering on its commitment to help enable the creation and deployment of the world’s most compelling applications, Microsoft Corp. launched Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Expression 3, combining groundbreaking new capabilities with simplified packaging to provide the industry's leading media and rich Internet application (RIA) solution.
In conjunction with Microsoft Visual Studio, Silverlight and Expression offer a highly collaborative development and design environment that simplifies the process of delivering engaging user experiences. Adoption of Microsoft's platform continues to rapidly accelerate as evidenced by strong demand for Microsoft Silverlight 2. In less than nine months since its release, more than 1 in 3 Internet devices now have Silverlight 2 installed. In addition, a surge of new Silverlight and Expression customers were announced today, including MGM’s "SGU: Stargate Universe" and Continental Airlines Inc. In addition, NBC Sports announced its intention to use Silverlight for all of its high-quality online video delivery across its numerous sporting franchises.
"Silverlight and Expression fill a clear need in the marketplace for a complete end-to-end solution that makes it easy for development teams to work together effectively, from concept to deployment, to create the types of rich interactive experiences today’s users expect," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform at Microsoft. "In a record amount of time, we’ve gone from being the industry newcomer to achieving a remarkable rate of industry adoption, rapidly delivering capabilities such as SketchFlow and IIS Smooth Streaming that are unmatched by other vendors. With more than 6 million developers with .NET programming skills worldwide and a platform that delivers a rich user experience at some of the lowest costs possible, Silverlight ubiquity is a matter of 'when,' not 'if.'"
Following quickly on the heels of NBC Universal’s deployment of Silverlight and Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) Smooth Streaming for its Live at Wimbledon video experience, Microsoft highlighted how other new customers are leveraging the power of Silverlight and Expression, including the following:
- MGM: MGM's "SGU: Stargate Universe" used Deep Zoom and Microsoft Photosynth within Silverlight to deliver an immersive experience on the official site, http://stargate.mgm.com, for the Stargate TV franchise, allowing fans to explore the sets where the show is filmed in great detail. Using Silverlight technology, MGM's "SGU: Stargate Universe" can also extend greater flexibility to prospective advertisers through various in-stream ad formats supporting multiple publishing frameworks.
- Continental Airlines: Continental is updating its call center reservation system by redeveloping the application as a RIA using Silverlight and delivered through a Web browser. This will enable the company to enhance customer service, reduce costs and increase productivity, processing more than 70,000 calls a day.
In addition to widespread customer adoption, Microsoft also highlighted the strong partner ecosystem, with more than 300 Microsoft partners in more than 30 countries helping customers around the world design, develop and deliver compelling experiences with Silverlight and Expression, including leading content delivery networks, solution providers, and encoding independent software vendors. More information about Silverlight partners is available at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/partners/default.aspx.
Microsoft is introducing several groundbreaking features in Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 that enable development teams to create RIAs and media applications with capabilities not offered by competitors, including the following:
- Expression SketchFlow: Available to customers just four months after its initial debut at MIX09, SketchFlow provides development teams unrivaled capabilities to rapidly prototype applications and take their ideas from concept to reality.
- Out of Browser: Silverlight 3 provides the seamless ability to add out-of-browser, connected and disconnected scenarios for cross-platform applications, radically improving the productivity and capabilities over traditional RIAs.
- IIS Smooth Streaming: As part of Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) Media Services and combined with Silverlight 3, IIS Smooth Streaming enables the industry’s first HDTV-quality (1080p) video experiences with rich interactivity for both on-demand and live video.
Silverlight 3 is available today for download at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight. Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight may be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 3. Expression 3 will be available within the next 30 days, including a free, 60-day trial version available at http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it. A Release Candidate of Expression Blend 3 with SketchFlow is available today for download.