MIX09: Microsoft announces Silverlight 3 beta

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MIX09: Microsoft announces Silverlight 3 beta

Microsoft has unveiled a beta version of its Silverlight 3 browser plug-in at its MIX09 developer conference in Las Vegas.

The Silverlight platform, which competes with Adobe Flash, features the animation, vector graphics and audio-video playback that characterise rich internet applications. Silverlight 3 offers more than 60 controls for improved graphics, animation and 3D features, including full support for high-definition video in full-screen mode and stutter-free live and on-demand video.

The new platform also expands the number of supported media formats, including H.264 for HD content, as well as enhancements such as deep linking to improve navigation through content and to automate search engine optimisation.

Silverlight 3 also promises to help developers create lightweight web applications that can exist outside the browser, giving users the potential to use them online and offline in a variety of environments.

"In the short time since we launched Silverlight and Expression Blend, Microsoft has rapidly introduced new features and functionality that enable customers to deliver outstanding web sites," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform at Microsoft.

"We are working closely with the community to deliver software that helps businesses provide customer experiences on the web that go beyond 'good enough' and drive real business results."

Several components of the Microsoft Web Platform were also announced at the show, including an integrated set of tools, servers and frameworks that work seamlessly together and interoperate with popular open source applications and products used in the community.

The new enhancements to Silverlight 3 are the driving force behind a range of new features in Microsoft's Virtual Earth application.

The company also announced details about Expression Blend 3 Preview, and updates to the Azure Services Platform.

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