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Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Microsoft Sees Business, Offline Future for Silverlight

CNET News, InformationWeek

Microsoft announced plans to release sample Silverlight code that will enable the development of rich SharePoint applications. It also said that at some point those applications might be able to be used on the desktop.The cross-platform Silverlight is Microsoft's browser plug-in for running media-rich applications, which in turn are developed with programming languages or with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. Silverlight is generally considered to be Microsoft's competition for Adobe Flash, which is both a development platform and a viewer and is used for Web video, games, and Internet apps.

Microsoft sees Silverlight as a way for businesses to develop rich Internet apps for their employees' use. "As enterprises are looking at the consumerization of IT, the things they see outside the enterprise, they want in-house," Rob Curry, a director of SharePoint for Microsoft, said in an interview. "They still want the ability to manage and archive the content, but they want that rich user experience and this allows that to happen."

Microsoft plans to release Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint on Wednesday. Silverlight Blueprint will include sample Web parts, similar to widgets or gadgets for Sharepoint sites.

A company spokesperson also said that eventually Silverlight applications will be able to be run offline. The trend toward making Web applications be able to run as local software is exemplified by the development of Adobe AIR, Google Gears, and Mozilla Prism. "It's something that we will want to do," said John Case, general manager in Microsoft's developer division. "Eventually, customers will expect us to do it." CNET News, InformationWeek

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