Microsoft puts spotlight on Silverlight

Microsoft puts spotlight on Silverlight

Major update planned for web-app builder next year

Microsoft has laid out new plans for its Silverlight rich internet application development software.

The company plans to issue a major update to Silverlight in the coming year that will add new functionality. The first public beta release of Silverlight 2.0 is slated for early 2008.

Scott Guthrie, general manager of Microsoft's developer division, outlined the planned improvements to Silverlight on a company blog.

The new version will include a "cross-platform, cross-browser" version of Microsoft's .Net framework allowing developers to create rich internet applications in different programming languages.

Guthrie also revealed that Silverlight 2.0 will allow developers to use the Windows Presentation Foundation interface design tool.

Silverlight 2.0 will feature support for several new networking protocols to give developers the ability to connect rich internet applications to different data sources over the web.

The first test versions of the software were labelled Silverlight 1.1, but Guthrie decided to change the label as the new features piled up.

"After stepping back and looking at all the new features we realised that calling it a point release does not reflect its true nature," he wrote. "We will refer to it as Silverlight 2.0 going forward."