Silverlight 4 is here, Does More vs. Flash

Silverlight 4 Update is now available bringing a large number of new features to the table: Out-of-browser execution, HTML support, localization, rich text features, and more.

Silverlight 4 now lets developers write apps that access your webcam, microphone, and even provide local recording features out of the box. Flash has supported them for years, but Adobe is now seeing downfall thanks to Apple.

So what that means is a typical Silverlight 4 app will be able to capture and edit voice or video and allow you to store the video locally or publish online at youtube, or even attach it to an email. This is something Flash was never designed to do.

Silverlight 4 also brings hardware-accelerated (GPU) video decoding, that makes 1080p H.264 playback possible even on an Intel Atom-based netbook that runs Nvidia’s ION GPU. Adobe announced similar feature in it’s Flash 10.1.

Apart from that, Silverlight 4 also includes support for adaptive streaming, DRM, and DVR-like capabilities.

Trusted Silverlight apps can now read and write files to local system, access attached peripherals.Various localization enhancements that include bidirectional text, right-to-left support, and complex scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew and Thai, as well as 30 new languages, seems like a big deal.

Silverlight Beyond Computers

The Silverlight platform would soon be seen across a number of gadgets like set-top boxes, internet TVs (aka connected TVs), Blu-ray players, and DVRs, etc.

With Silverlight now installed on nearly 60 percent of all connected devices around the world, I see good prospects for Microsoft to take over the lost share of Flash. And if it works better than Flash on Mac OS, there’s a one in a hundred chance that Apple considers making it a choice for RIA on iPhone, iPad.

The launch event and some demos are available Developer Tools Newsroom.

Download: www.microsoft.com/getsilverlight [Windows & Mac OS]

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  • Amy

    Remember that Flash has a high level of support for Mobile devices like phones, PDAs and non-Windows netbooks – which is already turning into a huge market compared to Desktops.
    Microsoft will make sure Silverlight is only available to Windows systems. 🙁

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    • Silverlight runs on the Mac OS, and Linux as well via Moonlight.

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      • henk

        It runs on linux? A joke.. It doesn’t. There is something that is supposed to run on linux, but in fact, it doesn’t. It does nothing at all, most applications don’t work.

        Silverlight applications load very slow, if at all. I don’t want to wait a minute before I can do something. Flash just works. Not only a little bit, it works brilliantly. Flash does have hardware rendering, at least, it does have hardware rendering on linux. All features you mentioned are in fact available in flash. I used them in flash 8!!
        It’s just bloody microsoft advertising, and you fell for it.

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        • gohulu

          No, i work sometimes with ubuntu and it works perfectly. I prefer silverlight 4 due to the fact that It’s the programming is done in C# which is more stable.

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  • Silverlight is faster at rendering to the screen. No surprise there, since most of the heavy lifting is being done by the .Net framework (hardware bitmap drawing). This would be a bit more compelling if the tweening algorithms had been the same for both.

    If you need raw easing equations, there are many out there, and I have several that could be used in both environments.

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    • Danyerga

      You can say it’s faster but at least from all the demos I’ve seen Flash is faster and smoother.

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  • imbot

    hell yea!! go Silverlight!!!!

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  • Tulrin

    Your title is misleading because it is untrue. Of course since you wrote it Flash 10.1 has come out as well as CS5.

    Another thing, while crowing about the Apple vs Adobe debacle over the summer you leave out one very important fact. Apple does not support Silverlight on its mobile devices either and has taken as firm a stand in regards to that as Flash. Flash just made the headlines.

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