TECHED: Why Silverlight?


What an awesome end to the day. I’m already sold on the whole Silverlight concept, but this session was an eye opener. Joe Stegman impressed, with a slickly crafted presentation, perfectly delivered. No woffle or hype, just demo after demo of Silverlight goodness.
Part of the attraction of Silverlight is how it opens up the programming of media and interaction via Visual Studio (admittedly mostly in v1.1 which ‘aint out for a while yet). But in 1.0 (due for RTM in a month or so) there is plenty to appreciate. The graphics rendering on this is incredibly smooth and fast. A demo with 9 separate video streams was pushing (only!) 50% CPU on his notebook.

Joe covered the various toolsets – this was the first time I’d seen Expression Blend demoed in a compelling way (it’s actually a really nice product), but the standout was Expression Media Encoder which was packed with features (it even has a command line extension for batching media conversions.

Why Silverlight?

  • Broad reach (his words) which means they are ultimately aiming for it to run on everything (but initially this is just Windows and Mac), including mobile devices
  • The rich media experience is easy to achieve
  • The tools are available very soon

I’d be looking at Silverlight very seriously for web sites wanting to deliver rich media. The learning curve is not that steep, and the results are incredible.

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By Craig Bailey