Silverlight Briefing Summary

Over the past 3 weeks, I have been touring across Canada giving a half-day briefing on Silverlight.  It was an incredible experience as it certainly opened my eyes to what types of things are being done with Silverlight today and the buzz it has generated among web designers and developers.

In those briefings, I promised you a number of things, so this post is meant to provide the post-briefing materials I spoke of.

First, the actual briefing presentation I delivered can be downloaded here in PowerPoint 2007 Format.  If you have a Windows machine but don't have PowerPoint 2007, you can download the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack to view Office 2007 file formats in Office 2003 or lower.  If you have a Mac, you can download the presentation in PowerPoint 2003 Format here.  You may notice slight differences in the presentation as some of the content was catered to specific cities.  For example, we had a guest speaker (Peter van der Zouwe, my manager) present an introduction in Toronto as he was in town for that briefing.  I have also included slides for each stop of the Fall Partner Tour at the end of the presentation.  If you're interested in learning more about the various new technologies coming out in the next 3-6 months, this may be a very good investment of your time.  And it's free to register!  The tour stops for this year are Halifax, (October 30), Vancouver (November 6), Edmonton (November 8), Montreal (November 13) and Toronto (November 21). 

I also promised the code for programming demos I did.  The code for each can be found below:

In addition to the demo code, I promised to provide links to all the public-facing demos I showed demonstrating Silverlight.  Those demos can be found below:

I was very happy with the feedback I received on our new Silverlight product.  There was excellent information on your perceptions of the product, where Silverlight 1.0 fits into your plans as well as where Silverlight 1.1 fits into your plans.  I have forwarded your feedback to the product teams and the response to-date internally has been great.  They have taken your feedback and are analyising it as important customer feedback into the product.  This includes everything from the install experience of the plug-in to performance of Silverlight applications in general.

One of the things that was a concern to a few of you was the plug-in install experience.  There is an interesting blog post here about the install experience and how it can be streamlined.

There were also a number of questions you posed as well that I said I would provide answers for since I didn't readily have the answers for you at the time.  Some of these questions do not yet have an answer (answer is "TBD"), so I will try to find those answers for you and I will edit this post with new answers as they become available.  Below are some of the questions that were asked:

  • Q:  Can the Silverlight Install Experience be modified to be more streamlined?
    • A:  YES!   This post by Tim Sneath details some very important information on the install experience and how to improve the install experience for your customers.
  • Q:  Will Expression Media Encoder be available as a separate SKU?
    • A:  As of right now, the Encoder will only be available as part of Expression Media.
  • Q:  Is there any guidance from a Patterns and Practices standpoint for Silverlight?
    • A:  I have no information stating there will be, but this may be something that is added to Microsoft's Patterns and Practices library at some point.
  • Q:  What version of DRM will be used in Silverlight 1.1?
    • A:  TBD
  • Q:  How does the Mac handle right-click behaviour in Silverlight code (like a MouseRightButtonDown event, for example)?
    • A:  TBD
  • Q:  Can a Silverlight application be served locally from the C: drive?
    • A:  A requirement for serving a Silverlight application is that it needs to be served from a web server.  There is nothing stopping you from serving up a Silverlight application on a locally installed web server, but a web server is required.

Finally, I wanted to provide you with information on a new book called Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 1.0, written by Laurence Maroney published by by MSPress.  I just found out about this book this weekend, so it is very new but by all accounts I have heard from Microsoft personnel, this will be an excellent resource on building Silverlight 1.0 applications.  I know a number of you are waiting for Silverlight 1.1 to come out to leverage the power of .NET, but this book shows you what you can do to build out Silverlight applications using technologies that are out today, including simple JavaScript, text editors as well as Visual Studio 2005, etc.  While the power of .NET is certainly enticing, there are no technical barriers to building extremely compelling Silverlight applications with the 1.0 platform today!

Are you building a Silverlight application?  Let me know - I'd love to see it!

Happy coding!



  • 29/10/2007:  Added the link to the plug-in install experience discussion as well as the Silverlight Chess Demo
  • 01/11/2007:  Added important information regarding the Silverlight Install Experience.