Microsoft releases Silverlight 3

Microsoft has released Silverlight 3, a major new release of its multimedia software for Mac OS X and Windows — competition for Adobe’s Flash software. It’s a free download, compatible specifically with Intel-based Macs (an older version is available for PowerPC based systems).

Available as a Web application framework that works in conjunction with your Web browser, Silverlight enables Web programmers to embed animation, vector graphics, audio and video content into Web pages.

Microsoft has positioned Silverlight 3 as a challenger to Adobe’s AIR, Flash and Flex technology. Silverlight 3 enables content to work on the desktop, rather than just in the browser. Support for higher quality video and audio has been added, along with new 3D graphics capability, pixel shader effects, animation effects, improved tet rendering and font support.

Microsoft has also improved Silverlight for developers with more than 60 customizable controls, new layout containers, “deep linking” for page bookmarking within a Rich Internet Application (RIA), search engine optimization, enhanced data support and better performance.

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