SilverLightThe new version of Microsoft Silverlight, a web application framework that is the competitor to Adobe Flash, Silverlight 3.0 build 3.0.40624.0 has been officially released to web (RTW) by Microsoft on July 9, 2009, and is now available for free download to “light up the web”.

Silverlight 3 includes a lot of improvements and enhancements, such as Smooth Streaming which allows instant viewing of 720p or better HD video without buffering and can be experienced at http://www.iis.net/media/experiencesmoothstreaming, out-of-browser and offline support, perspective 3D support which enables 3D transformations of 2D elements, GPU acceleration, AAC audio and H.264 video decoding support, incresed number of controls including DataGrid, TreeView, various layout panels, DataForm for forms-driven applications and DataPager for viewing paginated data, hyperlinked navigation model and deep-linking support, ClearType text rendering support, file saving location support, and more. Silverlight 3.0 What’s New page and Silverlight Program Manager Tim Heuer explains Silverlight 3.0 features in detailed on his blog, which is especially useful for developers.

Microsoft is going to host an online version of Silverlight 3.0 with Microsoft Expression 3.0 launch will be held at www.seethelight.com, which is set to online on July 10, 2009, the original launch date for Silverlight 3.0.

Silverlight 3 can be downloaded and installed from http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/get-started/install/default.aspx, directly download the Silverlight 3.0 setup installer: Silverlight.exe.

For developer, Expression Blend 3 + SketchFlow RC, which is a visual tool for designing and prototyping Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application for desktop and Silverlight web applications, has also been made available for free download via Microsoft Download Center.

Update: Silverlight 4

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