Final Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac now looking like October

Final Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac now looking like October

Summary: Microsoft is nearing the finish line with the 2.0 releases of both the Windows and Mac OS X versions of its Silverlight competitor to Adobe Flash.


Microsoft is nearing the finish line with the 2.0 releases of both the Windows and Mac OS X versions of its Silverlight competitor to Adobe Flash.

Late last week, Microsoft released the first public Release Candidate (RC) test builds of Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac OS X. The new RC 0 build is not designed for end users; it is aimed specifically at developers. As explained on the official Silverlight site:

"Silverlight 2 Release Candidate 0 (Silverlight 2 RC0) is now available to developers for testing purposes and to help prepare your Silverlight 2 Beta 2 applications for the release of Silverlight 2."

I'm hearing that Microsoft is shooting to release to the Web the final Windows and Mac versions of Silverlight 2.0 around the first week or so of October. Microsoft had been shooting to deliver the final Silverlight 2.0 release this past summer, according to a Microsoft blogger who published the internal Silverlight timetable to his blog.

The Softies aren't commenting on the final release date, beyond Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie's blogged comment that the final release is "not that far off now." More from Guthrie's September 25 post:

"If you have existing (Silverlight) Beta2 applications, please start getting them ready for the final release - as once we release Silverlight 2, users that have existing beta releases installed will automatically be upgraded to use the final version. Testing your application out with the release candidate will ensure that you can easily update your applications and have them ready within hours of the final release."

Microsoft officials have said MIcrosoft planned to support a variety of operating systems and browsers with Silverlight. The company released the Beta 2 version of Silverlight 2 for the Mac in June. Microsoft has given Novell its blessing (and some help) on the Silverlight port to Linux, codenamed "Moonlight." The first public test build of Moonlight (the Silverlight 1.0 port) was released in May 2008. The version of Moonlight supporting Silverlight 2.0 is in "pre-alpha" at this point.

Still no official word on when Microsoft will release a test version of Silverlight for Windows Mobile.... I bet we'll hear more on that at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in late October. Microsoft has said the first release of Silverlight for Mobile will be based on the Silverlight 1.0 release.

Update: Microsoft is holding sessions at PDC on porting Silverlight 2.0 apps to Windows Mobile, one reader notes. From the PDC session list:

"In this demo-filled session learn how to extend your existing Silverlight 2 applications to work on Windows Mobile and how to build rich mobile Silverlight apps that access device peripherals such as camera; GPS or WiFi or the radio stack for location; as well as mobile web services. We also talk about tooling enhancements in Microsoft Visual Studio that support Silverlight app development on Windows Mobile, what to consider when delivering eye-popping UI on mobile, and help you understand the key differences from developing Silverlight apps for the desktop."

I'm also curious what Microsoft will/won't say at the PDC about how Silverlight jibes with Live Mesh, the company's synchronization platform/service. As Softie Scott Hanselman has noted, there does seem to be some connection between the two technologies. When I asked Microsoft for comment, I got back this statement from a company spokesperson:

"The Live Mesh tech preview and the Live Platform are designed to connect users with their applications, data and people from any device. Silverlight is a very effective way to bring common experiences to multiple devices/platforms (including in our own Live Desktop experience.) In the near future, we'll have more to say about how 3rd parties can build Silverlight-based applications for the Live Platform."

Anyone been kicking the Silverlight 2.0 tires? What do/don't you like?

Topics: Software, Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software Development, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Silverlight quite easy to use...

    I have tried out and bought the Expression Suite to try out Silverlight for Vista desktop and web applications. I will probably buy the 2.0 version of Expression suite to use the Silverlight 2.0 stuff.

    Adobe has a strangle hold on old school for print media but Microsoft is about to serve them their lunch on the web. Adobe web tools suck and are almost useless outside certain ancient web practices. Silverlight makes it possible to do full streaming media along with three dimensional effects and total control over vector graphics which are simply better for doing web graphics.

    Most web graphics images are not scalable but vector graphics images are scalable and quite easy to animate as well. In the old days of web development you have to make assumptions about the average user who has horrible equipment and this pretty much destroys all the pixel by pixel imagery since in order to get that image on a users machine you have to send it over a phone modem. The reason the bit graphics took off was because it could do a tiny bit of colors that was the norm for low end users. Vector graphics are too large for modem users but today, over 80% of computer usres are on some kind of broad band and it is time to take advantage of vector graphics and dump pixel by pixel graphics instead.
    • Vectoring the vector

      [i]Vector graphics are too large for modem users but today, over 80% of computer usres are on some kind of broad band and it is time to take advantage of vector graphics and dump pixel by pixel graphics instead.[/i]

      Vectors graphics are bigger, then bitmaps?? I suppose this was the case when we were still using 30x20 screenpixels for our picture with 2 bits of color depth.

      Aside of that saying that vector graphics is something new, is kinda silly. Postscript is vector based gfx as well.
  • Meanwhile ...

    what's going on with Sun's JavaFX? The party is over if they don't hurry up.
    • Hmmm..

      Don't know if the party is going to be over soon. I won't be installing silverlight any time soon.

      The stuff of Adobe works and has quite a settled base. I see no need to use a silverlight player yet.

      And besides there is no player for my platform anyways.
      • Yup

        I agree Adobe's got it going on, they are and always
        have been the best, and in my opinion will continue to
        be the best in online media.
  • RE: Silverlight quite easy to use...

    I'm sorry to inform you that you pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. For one, Adobe web tools currently cover a huge spectrum of web applications and are used on the cutting edge of the interactive web field.

    For a very long time now Flash has supported steaming media, vector manipulation and has several 3D engines, along with countless other tools that define the interactive web experience. Actionscript grants designers and programmers far more tools and flexibility than any Microsoft language or javascript.

    For a second, vector graphics are far less demanding than raster images by nature, because they are based on math and not pixel data. The proliferation of richer, pixel-based content is a result of increased bandwidth. Your statement that vector graphics represent some new breakthrough requiring high bandwidth couldn't be any more mis-informed.

    Take it from industry professionals everywhere, Silverlight 2.0 matters little to anyone who's anyone in the interactive web field.
    • Yeah.. that is what struck me too..

      the first replyer has absolutely no idea what's he's talking about.
      • I meant to reply to the first poster...

        Yeah, I meant to reply to him (the first replyer).
      • Is that so?

        "Actionscript grants designers and programmers far more tools and flexibility"

        Yeah, riiiiiiiight, show me how to program a multithreaded APP with ActionScript please. Am I asking too much?
        • And you reply to the wrong person too

          I never said that.. i only stumbled over what that other guy said about vectors and bitmaps ;)
    • Flash for proper apps? Please...

      You really have no idea what YOUR talking about do you? I work for a company that produces web based software for the insurance industry, and we wouldn't even dream of doing anything in flash, yet our next iteration is being built in Silverlight.

      Flash is a great tool for animators to make videos, bedroom hobbists to make games, and for people to add nice looking elements and animations to there webpages, nothing more. I certainly wouldn't want to build a proper web app in it that's for sure.
      • Adobe AIR makes "proper web apps"

        Take a look at

        eBay built a downloadable app that runs on your desktop
        using Adobe AIR. AIR is basically Flash - but they have a
        development environment & tools & libraries called Flex
        which is quite mature.
  • RE: Final Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac now looking like October

    I'm not going to install Silverlight on any computer I'm responsible for. And this is not just because it's Microsoft - I don't trust the security model, whether it's implemented by Microsoft in Silverlight or the Mono team in Moonlight.
    • Brought to you by the same

      company that brought you ActiveX.

      Where 'X' can be:
      <Format drive>
      <Install ZombieNet software>
      <Install Virus>
      <Install Trojan>

    • Security Model?

      What is wrong with the security model? Could you enlighten us?
  • RE: Final Silverlight 2.0 for Windows and Mac now looking like October

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