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There are three possible scenarios when the user arrives at your website: they have the current version of Silverlight installed on their computer; they have a previous version of Silverlight installed on their computer; there's also the slight chance that they do not have any version of Silverlight installed. If they are not current, it only takes a few seconds to install the newest runtime and best of all, the Silverlight plug-in takes care of all the details. Let me show you what the install experience looks like on a computer without Silverlight. Now, I already have Silverlight installed in this computer and I'll bet you already have it on your computer too. So, I'll show you a way to test your applications to simulate not having Silverlight installed.
First, I'm going to open my Google Chrome browser and I've navigated to my shazzam-tool.com site. This is a Silverlight application, and as you can see, it is running in the browser. Now, I'll switch to Internet Explorer and in Internet Explorer I've loaded the same URL. What I have done in Internet Explorer is to disable the Silverlight plug-in. That is a good way to simulate not having Silverlight installed. To do this, you go to the Options menu>Internet Options and then go to Programs>Manage add-ons.
I like to view all add-ons and then scroll down to the Microsoft section and choose Microsoft Silverlight and then click on the Disable button. I've already done that. So, what happens when I go to this page is this is the simulated UI that the user would see if they were coming in without Silverlight installed. What they do then is click on this badge, click on Run and they're prompted with this Install Silverlight screen. At this point, they could click the Install Now button. After about 10 seconds it'll be installed on their local computer.
I'm going to cancel this process. Some companies like to rebrand this user interface with their own look. Let me show you an example. Here's the Netflix website. I've clicked on their instant queue and I want to watch this movie. It has detected that I don't have the Silverlight plug-in installed, so they showed this custom UI. It's a much nicer looking interface but it works about the same. You click on this Install Now button and you see the same steps you saw a few minutes ago. Let me re-enable the plug-in. I'll show you what happens. Click on Enable and then Close and then OK, go back to my Shazzam site, click on Refresh and now it detects that I do have the plug-in installed and it's ready to go.
Now let me show you how you can write your own custom UI in your own Silverlight application like Netflix did. I'm inside Visual Studio and I've opened this solution called EndUserInstall. This has a Silverlight application and it has a Companion website. It's the Companion website that we're interested in. First, I'll show you the default look. I'm going to open this NotInstalled_ DefaultLook and I'm going to make this my startup page by right-clicking and choosing Set as Start Page. This is an HTML page that has a Silverlight object tag embedded in it and then the key thing here for this demo is which version of Silverlight is it looking for? Down here it says the minimum runtime version expected is version 5.0.
That's the current version as of the recording of this video. There's also a link down here that takes you off to the Microsoft website and notice how it has the version number embedded in it too. So, when you click on the Install link, it takes you off to the Microsoft servers and it finds the correct or the newest version of Silverlight and installs that version. Let's see what this looks like. I'll press F5 to run the application and there's my simple Silverlight application. Now, to simulate a future version, what I can do is change the version number. So, let me open up this HTML page here and scroll down to the User Control and what I've done on line 67 is change the minimum runtime value to a bogus version number.
There's no version 8 yet. I've also modified this link to the Microsoft servers. So, now when I run this page by pressing F5, the browser loads the Silverlight runtime. The runtime checks the version number and sees that it's not available and takes me to this prompt screen asking me to install the more recent version of Silverlight. So, it's saying you have version 5 but you need a newer version. It's not actually telling to use which version number but it's implying that I need to install a newer version. Now, to create my own screen here, what I do is I have to modify little bit of my HTML.
I then populate this variable with some HTML. This is what it looks like when you run. As you can see, it's got a custom message, a custom logo, and this link points off to the Microsoft servers where I can go down and load the latest version. So, as you can see we can allow the plug-in to generate the Install page or we can customize the page with our own look.
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