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At Mix ’09, Microsoft unveiled a new beta version of Silverlight, its competition for Adobe Flash. Silverlight 3 beta adds support for H.264 video formats; better search-engine optimization support; and new hardware-based graphics acceleration and animation features. For more on Silverlight 3, read Mary Jo Foley’s report from Mix ’09.nn
In Silverlight 3 beta, developers and designers can apply content to a 3-D plane where they can rotate or scale live content without writing new code. n
Silverlight 3 users can now write pixels to a bitmap which allows them to build a photo editor for red-eye, perform edits on scanned documents, or create specials effects for cached bitmaps from elements on the screen. Shader effects include blur and drop shadow, according to Microsoft.
Silverlight Beta 3 users will be able to place applications directly onto any PC or Mac desktop, start menu or application folder, without downloading additional programs or browser plug-ins. Plus, they’ll work whether you are connected to the Internet or not.
Using Silverlight, a single developer was able in two months to build Perfect Car Finder: Photo Edition for Kelly Blue Book. It utilizes Silverlight features such as Deep Zoom. Users are able to adjust characteristics such as price, body style, and mileage to find the car they want.
In another testimonial, ISC Technology uses Microsoft Expression Blend and Microsoft Silverlight together with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition. They claim an “improved collaboration between designers and developers, an earlier focus on the user experience, more customer-friendly solutions, and faster development times,” according to Microsoft.
Silverlight powers the Watch Instantly online service from Netflix.
Microsoft uses Silverlight on Microsoft Virtual Earth for Web-based mapping.