updated 04:45 pm EST, Wed November 18, 2009
Software to run HTML and protected H.264 video
Microsoft on Wednesday released an early beta version of the upcoming Silverlight software. Version 4 adds a variety of new features including the ability to integrate HTML content within applications, while Google's Chrome browser will also be supported. The company claims performance optimizations allow apps to start quicker and run up to twice as fast as they would with Silverlight 3.
Developers will be able to incorporate video and audio recording tools, potentially enabling services such as video conferencing using webcams. Highlighted changes to the interface include multi-touch gesture support, drag-and-drop, right-click menus and mouse-wheel scrolling.
The app framework now supports protected H.264 videos through PlayReady DRM. Video output can also be protected to prevent unauthorized viewing of streaming media.
Silverlight 4 is still in the early beta stage, available only as a preview for developers.