updated 07:00 pm EDT, Wed March 18, 2009
MS outs Silverlight 3 Beta
At its MIX 09 developer and designer conference which kicked off on Wednesday, Microsoft released a beta version of its upcoming Silverlight 3 Internet media player. The Flash alternative is smaller in size than its Silverlight 2 predecessor, at 4.4MB, and aims to improve on the earlier software which launched in full build four months ago. Along with the player, the software giant release associated tools for developers, including the Software Development Kit (SDK) and various authoring programs.
Improvements are many and include multi-touch application compatibility, GPU acceleration, 3D support among other graphics improvements comprised of H.264, MP4 and ACC video support. A more noticeable change involves a new navigation page framework that lets developers integrate the player with a browser's forward and back navigation buttons. Silverlight 3 is also capable of running outside the browser thanks to Windows Presentation Foundation. At the same time, it can work offline, detect local networks and download content to cache memory, and library caching is also new. This means developers do not need to pack applications with every conceivable library out there during the build.
Developers will be better equipped to work with the new software, as Microsoft also released Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services for browsers that would let the Windows Platform Installer pull in bits to run the software that is being called for automatically.
Search-engine optimization (SCO) capabilities have been boosted, with new features that let users copy and paste Silverlight web addresses to show up in search engine queries or for content sharing via e-mail or instant messaging.
Microsoft is also making Silverlight available in its Internet Explorer 6 web browser for Windows Mobile. [via TheRegister]