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Innovation

Microsoft releases Silverlight 5

Microsoft released to the Web on December 9 Silverlight 5, which could be the last major release of Microsoft's

Microsoft made available on December 9 for download the gold version of Silverlight 5, the latest version of its browser plug-in and Web, desktop and mobile development platform

Version 5 -- which my contacts are saying is the last major release of Silverlight -- will be supported by Microsoft until 2021 -- which is a much longer period of time than previous Silverlight releases have been supported.

The less than 7 MB Silverlight 5 plug-in download is available here.

The version 5 release supports all the same platforms that the previous versions of Silverlight did: Windows, Mac. It also works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.

Microsoft officials didn't use the release of Silverlight 5 as a chance to offer further guidance as to the platform's future. We still have no word on when or if there will be a Silverlight 6. There's also still no official confirmation or denial from the company about rumors I've heard that there won't be a Mix 2012 conference next year.

A list of some of Silverlight 5's features can be found in today's post on the Silverlight blog. Among those features: Hardware decode of H.264 media; extensionof the trusted application model to the browser; and graphics stack improvements with 3D support using the XNA programming interface on Windows.

Silverlight 5 was originally expected to be released to the Web in November 2011.

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