Microsoft announced Silverlight 1.1 Alpha at MIX07 today. It’s a perfect example of what Microsoft is capable of doing with its formidable set of resources. Justin Van Patten has a post outlining the new features. Its quite a list:
* Managed code support
* Support for dynamic languages including Managed JScript and Python
* Rich UI control model based on WPF
* Improved networking stack with support for REST, RSS, JSON, POX
* Enhanced, 2-way HTML/AJAX Bridge
* Comprehensive and consistent base class library
* Support for LINQ (LINQ to Objects, LINQ to XML)
The Silverlight community site has several interesting quickstarts that give an indication of the feature set (and the integration with other Microsoft tools). C# and Visual Basic support in a 4+ MB (Windows) and 10+ MB (Mac) download.
It has certainly become a platform for RIA development (Silverlight 1.0 Alpha was nowhere near a platform). Adobe has a very formidable competitor. Microsoft’s developer support is usually very good and you can be sure they will attempt to win Flash converts at the developer level. The Expression tools (v2 will have Silverlight support) may also start to win over some designers too.
Makes me wonder when .NET desktop application development (WPF) will start to appear on the Mac.