Update on Silverlight 2 - and a glimpse of Silverlight 3
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by Scott Guthrie
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Rich Internet Applications (RIA) Experiences

Silverlight 2 delivers a cross-browser, cross-platform subset of the .NET Framework, and enables developers to build Rich Internet Applications. 

Developers can use either VS 2008 or the free Visual Web Developer 2008 Express to open and edit Silverlight 2 projects, and get a powerful code-focused .NET development environment.  Designers can use Expression Blend 2 SP1 to open and edit the same projects and use a creative tool to sculpt and create rich user experiences.  I recently blogged about the nice developer/designer workflow this enables here.  Two weeks ago at the PDC we also shipped the first release of our Silverlight Toolkit - an open source project which adds additional runtime controls and components for Silverlight 2 development (including new charting controls). 

A number of customers have already launched Internet-facing Silverlight 2 RIA solutions (including Renault, Hard Rock and Toyota). For example, last month AOL launched their new AOL Mail RIA using Silverlight 2:

Figure 3

Silverlight 2 is also now being used in a variety of enterprise solutions.  For example, K2 recently launched their new Blackpoint workflow management solution for Microsoft SharePoint using Silverlight:

Figure 4

Microsoft is also deploying new Silverlight based RIA experiences.  The Windows Live Team's new photo application (photos.live.com) and video communications application (videomessages.live.com) are both built with Silverlight 2, as is the new MSN Toolbar (it uses Silverlight to customize the browser frame).  Last month at the PDC we also gave a first sneak-peak demo of some of the new Office 14 Web Companion RIA applications which use Silverlight.

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