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Microsoft makes Silverlight 2 available

Novell working on Linux version of Silverlight

Microsoft has made the Silverlight 2 browser plug-in technology for rich internet applications and its supportive development tools publicly available

"I think it's great news that Microsoft is starting to constructively engage with Eclipse and propose projects at Eclipse," said Eclipse executive director Mike Milinkovich. But Microsoft still is not an Eclipse member, he acknowledged.

"I would certainly hope they decide to join at some point," Milinkovich said. Microsoft's linking Eclipse to Silverlight provides a strong endorsement of Eclipse, he said.

Microsoft also will offer Silverlight Control Pack and publish on Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) the technical specification for the Silverlight XAML vocabulary. The Control Pack will be released under the Microsoft Permissive License, an OSI-approved license, Microsoft said.

The XAML vocabulary will be offered under Microsoft's 'open specifications promise' so developers can read and write Silverlight XAML vocabulary tooling, said Brian Goldfarb, director of the Microsoft development platform group.

Asked what future versions of Silverlight might feature, Guthrie said the company feels good about the architecture and programming model of Silverlight and believes it can add new features shortly.

Rival Adobe Systems, whose Flash technology stands to be the biggest competitor to Silverlight, remained undaunted by the release of Silverlight 2. "We didn't really hear much that hasn't already been announced," said Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager for the Adobe Flash Player. "They seem to be following Adobe's leadership in the RIA space."

Flash is on 98 percent of internet-connected PCs and has 80 percent of theiInternet video market, Barclay said.

Guthrie also reiterated Microsoft plans to bring Silverlight to mobile devices via a port to Symbian devices, done with Nokia, and Nokia's plans to distribute Silverlight with its phones. Also, a Linux version of Silverlight, dubbed 'Moonlight', is being developed by a team of developers led by Miguel de Icaza at Novell, Microsoft officials noted.

Microsoft currently is prohibited from putting Silverlight on the iPhone because Apple does not want browser plug-ins like Silverlight or Flash on the phone, Guthrie said. "Right now, that isn't an option for any vendor. If [Apple lets] us, we'll definitely go," he said.

Silverlight now is working within the Google Chrome browser after resolution of paning issues, he said.

Early users of Silverlight will be automatically upgraded.

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