Silverlight Excitement

Are you excited about Silverlight? I am.

In case you haven't heard, Silverlight is a new rich internet application platform developed by Microsoft with support on both Windows and Macintosh systems. It's pretty awesome. The Silverlight demos presented during the Mix 07 conference keynote were simply out of this world, and featured the cross-platform experience on Mac (or, depending on your perspective, the cross-platform experience on Windows) quite nicely.

Developers can use XAML (a subset of the same XML-based vector graphics markup language used by Windows Presentation Foundation on Vista) in the browser, and bind XAML controls through the DOM to either Javascript or the .NET Framework core components, the latter of which was brought over to Mac to help make this happen. That's right; I said .NET Framework on Mac. Exciting? You bet.

Too geeky for you? How about streaming Windows Media audio and video, supported by Microsoft, including HD video up to 720p? Check out these Mix 07 demos (I'm personally a major fan of Top Banana) and you'll start to get a sense of the kinds of exciting rich internet experiences that Silverlight helps to enable.

Not geeky enough for you? What about dynamic language runtime support, so you can implement all your code-behind in Ruby, Python, or what have you? How about designers and developers working together with seamlessly integrated workflows to help each other deliver striking content with killer functionality behind the scenes? How about the power and performance of the core .NET Framework helping to deliver both software and services online, across browsers, and across platforms? How about 4 GB of free Microsoft-hosted video? How cool is that?

Did I mention that Silverlight is supported in both Safari and Firefox browsers on the Mac? Okay, I admit, I'm feeling just a little bit of Silverlight excitement.

So, that's all good and exciting, but what does Silverlight have to do with MacBU anyways? Well, in a sense, not much: Silverlight is not a MacBU effort. Why not, you ask? Well, as you probably know, MacBU has never been the only source within Microsoft for software on the Mac. We certainly are the center of gravity for exciting Mac-specific experiences at Microsoft, but Silverlight (which is really about exciting cross-platform experiences) doesn't really fit that "Mac-specific" charter. But we're certainly excited to have Silverlight join us here on this exciting platform that we call the Mac.

Check out Silverlight for yourself.