Microsoft has announced that Silverlight 2 is ready (and will be available to download Tuesday). Scott Guthrie made the announcement via conference call today (Monday).
Here’s the main features of Silverlight, which Microsoft claims is now on 25% (or more) of PCs worldwide:
Highlights of new Silverlight 2 features include the following:
. .NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.
. Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.
. Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.
. Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.
. Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.
. Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.
. Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.
. Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.
. Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.
Source: Microsoft PressPass
That last point is interesting to note. In terms of cross platform and cross browser support, as Mary-Jo notes, Silverlight does work on the Chrome, but not on iPhone (due to Apple’s usual closed wall bullshit licensing).
We don’t think everything Microsoft does or promotes is great, but Silverlight is definitely one they are pushing big time. They will succeed, and it’s only a matter of time (although I do think Joe Wilcox has a point when he says ‘promises are cheap‘). If you are still undecided on Silverlight, then it’s time to reconsider.
The Silverlight site still sports the Beta 2 download, but it is only a matter of hours before the full version becomes available.