Free all-purpose app framework
Microsoft Silverlight is a free browser plugin that enables interactive media experiences, rich business apps, and immersive mobile apps to run. It is a product of Microsoft’s ambitious push to create a unified media experience across different platforms. As an application framework, it is designed to run rich internet applications, much like Adobe Flash. Earlier versions of this app focused on streaming media, but later versions supported multimedia, animations, and graphics.
What is the purpose of Microsoft Silverlight?
Like Adobe Flash, Silverlight is an all-purpose development tool used for streaming videos, live streams, vibrant graphics, and animations to devices. However, it relies heavily on Microsoft’s XAML, a text-based markup language for the user interface, vector graphics, and animations. It is also based on Microsoft’s .NET framework, which allows developers to use any tool that supports the .NET language.
On top of that, the software gives developers a way to enable rich animations using Windows-based formats. It supports Windows Media Video (WMV), Windows Media Audio (WMA), Advanced Audio Coding, MPG3, and H.264 across all supported browsers without the need for the traditional Windows-based players. It also supports VC-1 video, but both VC-1 video and H.264 are only licensed for personal and non-commercial use.
Silverlight also makes it possible to load Extendable Markup Language (XML) contents that can be manipulated through a Document Object Model (DOM) interface. The program exposes a downloader object, which can then be used to download content—such as media assets, scripts, or other data—that may be required by the application.
Does Netflix use Silverlight?
During its release in 2007, Microsoft Silverlight became a huge success. It even pulled major partners—including NBC, which used the app to stream the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The app was also then used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Even Netflix uses the program to deliver streaming video to web browsers on the PC and Mac.
With the app’s help, the streaming service has been able to provide a high-quality streaming experience. Moreover, it allows the users to easily experiment with improvements to the adaptive streaming algorithm of the service. The browser plugin also makes the experience very simple, letting the user to just click play on the Netflix website and watch their favorite series or movies.
However, using the browser plugin comes with a few disadvantages. For one, you will need to install the plugin before the streaming. Also, there are a few security and privacy risks in installing a web browser plugin. Furthermore, not all streaming services use Silverlight—which might deter users from installing the plugin. It is for these reasons that the popular streaming service has started to move from Silverlight to HTML5.