Using Microsoft Silverlight is as easy as surfing to a website that uses the technology. Simply install a plugin for your favorite web browser, and you're ready to enjoy a rich multimedia experience.
To begin, download and install the Silverlight plugin from the Microsoft website. The only supported operating systems are currently Microsoft Windows and Apple's OSX. After installation, you may need to restart your browser in order for the plugin to work properly. Unlike some other browser plugins, Microsoft Silverlight does not require Administrator access for installation.
To use Microsoft Silverlight, you will need to find a website that runs Silverlight-enabled code. Many are listed on Microsoft's website, so simply choose one of the sites, or check out Microsoft's online demonstration. Silverlight cannot enhance any existing website unless it is written specifically for Silverlight.
Microsoft Silverlight allows for developers to create multimedia portals so that you can experience new ways to interact with media. It is also integrated with Windows Vista, allowing for the development of desktop widgets, by-passing the need for a web browser. This sandbox approach to building applications allows for greater security and reliability of applications.
Silverlight also is optimized to run streaming video, similar to the way that Flash is used on websites. It is capable of streaming video, rendering 3D graphics, and providing special effects for animation. Silverlight takes advantage of the power of your video card to improve performance and provide many enhancements that other software is not capable of.
Silverlight can stream WMV, WMA, H.264, and MP3 formats without the installation of additional software. In addition, Silverlight supports streaming HD content in up to 1080p resolution. Third-party audio and video codes are also supported seamlessly, requiring no interaction from the user.
There are also many interactive games that are written for Silverlight. Some games look like they're simply built right in to the website, so you may not even be aware that Silverlight is the underlying technology behind them.
Microsoft Silverlight applications can be created using Microsoft's .NET programming language. Custom themes can also be built for applications, which works well for users who have many applications running at once. In addition, data can be transferred between Silverlight applications quickly and easily, allowing for the creation of forms and databases that can update in near real-time.
Using Microsoft Silverlight is easy and intuitive, even for novice computer users. The rich framework allows for applications be custom-tailored to suit any need.