Microsoft Silverlight for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 5.1.50918.0
  • 3
  • (808)
  • Security Status

Softonic review

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

Shortlived success

Microsoft Silverlight may have been a success during its initial run, but its success has been shortlived. The project struggled to keep up to its competitors and faced issues upon issues. Developers found the tools challenging to learn and too risky. Moreover, its competition—Flash and JavaScript—was simply more comfortable that various media outlets and partners chose them over Silverlight. Before long, HTML5 had arrived, offering a more versatile framework and a promise of a great future online. Silverlight will officially end its run in 2021 since Microsoft will no longer support the project. There won’t be any official updates, and the installer will no longer be available.


  • Lightweight plug-in
  • Streams high resolution and HD video
  • Smooth streaming support
  • Interprets XAML directly


  • No support Flash or AAC content
  • Streams can take some time to start
  • Challenging to learn
  • Risky

Older versions

Also available in other platforms

Program available in other languages

Microsoft Silverlight for PC

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 5.1.50918.0
  • 3
  • (808)
  • Security Status

User reviews about Microsoft Silverlight

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    It freezes and crashes every few minutes. Very frustrating, as all microsoft products seem to be.

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Good soft.
    For more info about DRM plugin visit this page

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Best player.
    SL is excellent but its downloading process is complex try to makes it easy and user friendly so that each user can be able to down More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Not Required By Many Sites.
    Microsoft Silverlight currently isn't used by many sites. And Microsoft has changed from trying to compete with Flas More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    I use the MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT all the time watching HD movies. It work good and clear!! Good HDV , Sound ,it's fast with no probems at More

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous

    Silverlight 1.0 cannot be uninstalled.
    Windows Vista Updat is not able to find Silverlight.msi to uninstall and add the new version. This is rep More


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Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws.