Today we shipped the Silverlight 1.0 release for Mac and
Windows. Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a
browser. Some of its features include:
Built-in codec support for playing VC-1 and WMV video, and
MP3 and WMA audio within a browser. The VC-1 codec is a big step forward
for incorporating media within a web experience - since it supports very efficiently playing high-quality, high definition video in the browser.
It is a standards-based media format that is implemented in all HD-DVD and
Blueray DVD players, and is supported by hundreds of millions of mobile devices,
XBOX 360s, PlayStation 3s, and Windows Media Centers (enabling you to
encode content once and run it on all of these devices + Silverlight
unmodified). It enables you to use a huge library of existing video
content and provides access to the broad ecosystem of existing Windows
Media tools, components, vendors and hardware.
Silverlight supports the ability to progressively download
and play media content from any web-server. You can point Silverlight at
any URL containing video/audio media content, and it will download it and
enable you to play it within the browser. No special server software
is required, and Silverlight can work with any web-server (including Apache on
Linux). We'll also be releasing an IIS 7.0 media pack that
enables rich bandwidth throttling features that you can enable on your
web-server for free.
Silverlight also optionally supports built-in media
streaming. This enables you to use a streaming server like Windows Media
Server on the backend to efficiently stream video/audio (note: Windows
Media Server is a free product that runs on Windows Server). Streaming
brings some significant benefits in that: 1) it can improve the
end-user's experience when they seek around in a large video stream, and
2) it can dramatically lower your bandwidth costs.
Silverlight enables you to create rich UI and animations,
and blend vector graphics with HTML to create compelling content
these. One benefit of this is that it makes it really easy to integrate
update both the HTML and XAML elements together).
Silverlight makes it easy to build rich video player
interactive experiences. You can blend together its media capabilities
with the vector graphic support to create any type of media playing experience
you want. Silverlight includes the ability to "go full screen"
to create a completely immersive experience, as well as to overlay
menus/content/controls/text directly on top of running video content (allowing
you to enable DVD like experiences). Silverlight also provides the
ability to resize running video on the fly without requiring the video stream
to be stopped or restarted.
Today we also shipped the Expression Encoder 1.0 release on the web. Expression
Encoder is part of the Microsoft Expression suite of products, and enables
designers and content professionals to enhance, encode and publish media
content for Silverlight. You can use it to import media files from a
variety of formats (QuickTime, WMV, AVI and more), add leaders and
trailers to videos for advertising or roll credits, easily watermark video with
corporate logos or brands, and then tune the encoding settings to create
optimal web-friendly Silverlight experiences.