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I have been a big fan of Silverlight, since I saw an early preview. I have worked in the Desktop world and the Web world. While I love the reach of Internet deployed applications, I have lamented the lack of real Desktop power on browser apps. The Web world is changing though, and Desktop application frameworks are appearing everywhere. Silverlight is one such framework from Microsoft. They are also actively working on an HTML5 framework. As a UI developer I couldn't be happier. I know I have many frameworks and vendors providing a great set of tools for building user interfaces.
So what is Silverlight? It is Microsoft's platform for developing and deploying rich Internet applications. It gives you immense power in creating any type of application. I have seen great implementations of video streaming. You might remember all the PR around Silverlight in the Olympics a few years ago. From my own experience I can tell you that Silverlight is a stable and rich platform for building a line of business applications. I love the new Silverlight 5 3D support. There are so many good things it is good for. Trust me, you'll see more details as I go through the course.
Silverlight is a native application and it runs on your local computer, but the default configuration is to run Silverlight via a browser plug-in. Silverlight can help you write awesome cross-browser applications that run on either PCs or Macs. You can see there are a number of operating systems available for the Silverlight runtime. It's available for all the popular browsers too, although it doesn't have the vast installed base of Adobe Flash, it's doing all right. Currently Silverlight is installed on about 67% of all Internet browsers. If you want to see those stats yourself, you can go to statowl.com.
Here I am on statowl.com and if you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can see the Silverlight Support as of today is 67.14%. I love that I can program Silverlight in my favorite .NET language. I have been using C# for years, but I have also done a few Visual Basic Silverlight projects too. Microsoft also supports dynamic languages in Silverlight. If you ever feel like working in Ruby or Python, Microsoft has you covered. Silverlight 5 is the latest version and it builds on the great tools in the previous releases, this course shows you a mixture of features from all of Silverlight releases.
Silverlight 5 has great 3D support through XNA integration. It can also leverage the computer's GPU to speed up video encoding. There are lots of other improvements in fonts, text, and binding. Why don't I show you a few examples? This is the Babylon open-source 3D engine. I am looking at a sample page on this site. The wcafe.bsf scene, and if I take my mouse I can scroll to the left or the right to see more of this 3D view.
Of course, you can write your own 3D applications. This is part of the Silverlight Toolkit Library, this shows the standard 3D animated cube. I can go in dynamically at runtime and change the color or the shape. In the last demo I thought I would show you today is also part of the Toolkit called Control Samples. And the Toolkit has a huge number of user controls.
I thought I would show you a few of the charts. Here is the Bar Series charts, available on the Toolkit, and here is the Line Series, and as you can see there are many more examples. Silverlight is chock-full of great features. I can't wait to show them to you.
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