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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.
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.
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.