Silverlight 5 is the most recent version of Microsoft’s browser plug-in and Web, desktop and mobile development platform, aiming to help create the most interactive user experiences for Web and mobile applications alike. The advantage to using Silverlight is that it is supported by Windows and Mac alike, and is compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari.
The new updated application is 7MB, free to download, and brings improvements such as hardware decoding and the “Trusted Application” model straight into your web browser. Some features that Microsoft highlighted when describing Silverlight 5 are Hardware Decode of H. 264 media which proves very useful when decoding unprotected content using GPU. Postscript Vector Printing improves the output quality and file size.
This description seems to have impressed some people like analyst Al Hilwa of IDC, who sees a great deal of potential in the application, I mean, for now at least. He tries to validate his point by saying that there are a lot of apps or websites written with the help of Silverlight and of course their users and those particular apps will benefit greatly from the Silverlight 5 update, especially considering the hardware acceleration. Even with such good feedback, Hilwa is only one man.
Microsoft, itself. seems to have somewhat abandoned the integration of Silverlight with it other suite of products, thus raising major questions of whether a new Silverlight 6 will ever see the light of day.