Microsoft Silverlight

Microsoft Silverlight 5.1.40416.0

Microsoft's answer to Adobe Air

Although Microsoft's Silverlight was originally conceived as a competitor to Adobe Flash, it now finds itself competing with Abobe's Web 2.0 platform, Adobe Air. View full description

PROS

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

CONS

  • No support Flash or AAC content
  • Streams can take some time to start
  • Inferior to Adobe Air

Good
7

Although Microsoft's Silverlight was originally conceived as a competitor to Adobe Flash, it now finds itself competing with Abobe's Web 2.0 platform, Adobe Air.

The harsh truth is, Microsoft Silverlight has already fallen considerably behind Adobe Air. In typically Microsoft style, the software giant's surely missed the boat, by aiming at a replacement for Adobe Flash when the web world was already shifting towards interactive Web 2.0 platforms such as Adobe Air.

Microsoft Silverlight is a lightweight plugin that allows you to watch Silverlight-based content in your browser. It works with most major browsers, including Firefox and Safari. There is no prompt to restart the browser after installation but I recommend you do so because the first site of Silverlight content I accessed after installation simply crashed the browser.

The most important improvements to the latest version are smoother streaming, DRM management, and an out-of browser player. The out-of browser player, however, is dependent on developers embracing it and as yet, there are few examples available. The smooth streaming feature will iron out many of the streaming programs that have plagued Microsoft Silverlight in the past. If your bandwidth drops below 3Mbps, smooth streaming will kick-in so that your video isn't affected.

Microsoft Silverlight can stream high resolution video well and supports HD-quality videos. If you want to create content for Silverlight, you'll need Expression Studio and Visual Studio. In fact, this latest release is is of particular interest to developers because it adds 60 customizable controls, new layout containers, 'deep linking' for page bookmarking, search engine optimization, and enhanced data support.

The signs are though that Microsoft has realized that the battle for web content is already being won by the much slicker and more stable Adobe Air platform and is therefore aiming Microsoft Silverlight at business users. The Silverlight homepage boasts 'Learn how Silverlight is right for your business', and that companies such as Continental Airlines have adopted Silverlight for use in their reservation system, showing that Microsoft knows which side its bread is buttered on.

Silverlight has probably missed the boat as far as Web 2.0 goes, although there's probably no way you can avoid it since there will always be some websites that opt to stream content with Silverlight rather than Flash.

Microsoft Silverlight

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Microsoft Silverlight 5.1.40416.0

User reviews about Microsoft Silverlight

  • nancyedwards

    by nancyedwards

    "Frustrating"

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

  • ayman.aymano.39

    by ayman.aymano.39

    "Good soft"

    For more info about DRM plugin visit this page http://www.derniereversionduplugin.com/2013/03/microsoft-drm-plugin.h...   More.

  • varsha yaduvanshi

    by varsha yaduvanshi

    "Best player"

    SL is excellent but its downloading process is complex try to makes it easy and user friendly so that each user can b...   More.

  • Matt Perkins

    by Matt Perkins

    "Not Required By Many Sites"

    Microsoft Silverlight currently isn't used by many sites. And Microsoft has changed from trying to compete with Flash...   More.

  • bellakan

    by bellakan

    "alsome"

    I use the MICROSOFT SILVERLIGHT all the time watching HD movies. It work good and clear!! Good HDV , Sound ,it's fast...   More.

  • TLeihn

    by TLeihn

    "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 repeated severa...   More.