Monday, April 16, 2007

wpf/e now Silverlight

For months now, people have been trying to figure out Microsoft's intentions for WPF/e. At the NAB Show this week they began to make their plans clear. Officially (in other words, not another code name) dubbed Silverlight, Microsoft said the cross browser plugin will focus on delivering "next generation media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web". It is clear by the list of early partners (that includes Netflix and Major League Baseball), though, that the main focus of Silverlight will be online video.

That doesn't mean the RIA part of WPF/e is dead. Silverlight is still going to be a XAML based plugin and the official Silverlight site features several RIA examples (like the old page turning photo album and the new (to me) WPF/e Scratch Pad). So while Microsoft may be primarily focused on stealing online video market share from Adobe, there will still be plenty of opportunity for web developers to innovate on this new platform.

For now, this remains mostly marketing news. There is no new WPF/e Silverlight CTP and no new features have been announced (though there are some new wallpapers...aaahh). Watch for the new "Silverlight enabled" official Silverlight site on April 30th and for more details about Silverlight to be announced at Mix 07.