Category Archives: Silverlight

Fast Times at RIA High

What a time this is shaping up to be… We have some exciting stuff cooking here that I can’t quite talk about yet but you’ll be seeing soon enough. Scott Guthrie recently posted about a few of the things we’re doing to continue WPF’s place as the best platform for creating the best desktop experiences possible. Visual Studio 2008 launches next Wednesday and MIX is the following week too. MIX is now sold out so I hope you got your tickets already. I’ll be there but I’ll be spending the first two days sequestered with the press. This weekend is the calm before the storm–news-wise; there’s a flurry of activity going on here in Redmond. And we’re not the only ones keeping busy: Adobe’s launching Flex 3 and AIR on Monday. Exciting times!

WindowsClientWhitePaperA white paper that I co-wrote just went live on WindowsClient.NET and is the first featured news item (for today). The paper is targeted at developers with WinForms chops who are thinking about making the jump to WPF but want to know when the right time and conditions are. I won’t give away the ending–check it out at the link.

Silverlight Apple "Staff Pick"

Pretty cool to see Silverlight as a “Staff Pick” from Apple!

Apple – Downloads – Mac OS X – Development Tools Silverlight page

A tough decision most face is whether to take full advantage of a single platform or to go lowest common denominator and address multiple platforms. One of the nice things about Microsoft .NET is that we were able to pursue both: take full advantage of a PC’s hardware with WPF and take much of that goodness cross-platform with Silverlight. And while you’re at it, designers and developers can reuse assets and XAML in both projects. In the next release of Silverlight, the .NET Common Language Runtime is part of the action so you’ll even be able to share C#, VB, etc. between WPF and Silverlight projects.

Silverlight and Expression Resources

Here’s a veritable cornucopia of resources online related to Silverlight and Expression. Thanks to the India DPE team for pulling this list together.

I’d add one late-breaking item: The Expression Blend 2 September Preview. Cool stuff there!



Silverlight Tutorials

Silverlight and Blend Videos


Newsgroups and Forums

Liftoff and Linux!

Let’s get right to the point. The rumors are true: Silverlight 1.0 has been released to the web and Microsoft is lending official support to the Linux version (named “Moonlight”) under development at Novell. We’re also releasing Expression Encoder 1.0. Good news all around and lots of fun toys for you all to play with.

Read more at the usual places: and Also, Scott Guthrie’s blog has a lot of details here.

And the Winner is…

Two award winners from our stables today. one is Silverlight which landed as one of C|Net’s best 100 Web apps, according to user voting. That’s pretty good for a product that hasn’t actually been released yet! The interest around Silverlight has really surpassed our expectations. The page mentions that Silverlight is young technology and is just getting started but could be the next big thing. We agree. :)

pcw160x28.gifSecond up is PopFly, which was named today at the top of the list of PCWorld’s 25 Web Sites to Watch.

Congrats to all the teams involved in these products.

Microsoft Redefines RIA!

Some people were fussing last week about the latest evil scheme by Micro$oft to take over the world via the insidious renaming of the term Rich Internet Application to Rich Interactive Application. Curses! Foiled again! You got us on that one. After running all the simulations on Hal XP, we calculated that changing that one word would net us nearly eleventy kajillion dollars thereby ensuring total world domination. And if it wasn’t for you meddling teenagers and Scooby-Doo(tm), we would’ve gotten away with it. So…

…conspiracy theories are fun and all but the truth is that we first had this discussion with Ovum, an analyst group in the UK. Here’s an excerpt from one of their papers, RIA: putting the user first :

As surely as winter follows autumn, the software industry continually presents us with new programming models. The latest is rich Internet applications (RIA), which have been around for quite a few years waiting for an architecture on which it can be deployed. One of the problems with this name is that whenever the words ‘rich’ and ‘Internet’ appear next to each other, it is commonly taken to assume that they mean multimedia, music and video, not data and business applications. A better description for these classes of applications is ‘rich interactive client applications. ‘Rich’ suggests that they offer more than a simple browser-based application and ‘interactive’ indicates that these are more than simply presentation layers. Rich interactive applications (RIA) are at the centre of the drive to make the experience of a user’s interaction with software applications matter more…

Ryan Stewart’s entire blog is about RIA’s and he was recently using both phrases interchangeably: “pull together the benefits of the web and the benefits of the desktop and blend them into rich, interactive applications.”

Now do a web search for the term “rich interactive” and see what pulls up. The term is used by IBM: “rich interactive applications that bind together disparate services“, by Microsoft (seven years ago!) for IE 5.5: “New Internet Explorer 5.5 Technologies Designed to Support Rich, Interactive Web Applications

The last point I want to bring up is, perhaps, the most interesting. In speaking with a major analyst firm recently, they spoke about RIA’s and mentioned that for all of the companies they talk to, “RIA” meant AJAX and nothing else. It’s very interesting that the RIA term has seen a major uptake without the original implication of the flash plugin.

All of that said, I don’t personally think it matters that much. There’s really no advantage to Microsoft to twiddle with a single word in a name for competitive reasons–it’s just an attempt to make the definition of this murky area a little clearer. Is AJAX RIA technology? What about Apollo? WPF?

Maybe we need RIIA? Rich Interactive Internet Applications. :)


Hello to a clean, well-lit name and good riddance to the worst code name ever, “WPF/E”. Well, IceWeasel and Brady Bunch weren’t stellar either but at least they were easier to type. Try typing “WPF/E” five times quickly and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, the quotes have to be around it as well.

In case you’ve not heard, Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plugin for delivering next generation media experiences and rich interactive applications for the web. It takes some of the powerful markup goodness of XAML and marries it to the most popular file types in the world right now: html and javascript.

There is a lot of information regarding Silverlight that all went live today.

The official Silverlight website

Silverlight Press room

Tim Sneath’s list of 10 best things about Silverlight

Sean Alexander’s list of rich media features