Microsoft has announced the availability of Silverlight 2, along with new support for open-source development with the rich Internet application platform and new claims of ubiquity for Silverlight.
Brian Goldfarb, director of developer platforms at Microsoft, called Silverlight one of the most comprehensive solutions for the creation and delivery of applications and media experiences through a Web browser. Goldfarb also said Microsoft is providing further support for open source with Silverlight by funding a project to build an Eclipse plug-in for Silverlight and by providing new controls to developers with the Silverlight Control Pack under the Microsoft Permissive License. The Microsoft Permissive License is an Open Source Initiative approved license.
"We wanted to provide developers with the ability to build Silverlight applications using tools other than Visual Studio," Goldfarb said. Microsoft enables developers to build Silverlight applications with Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2. The company also has extended support to its free Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition.
According to Goldfarb, Silverlight adoption continues to grow rapidly, with penetration in some countries approaching 50 percent and a growing ecosystem that includes more than 150 partners and tens of thousands of applications.
As part of its plans to support additional tools for developing Silverlight applications, Microsoft is providing funding to Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider and Eclipse Foundation member, to lead a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment), said Vijay Rajagopalan, a principal architect in the Microsoft Developer Division. Soyatec plans to release the project under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge and submit it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project, Rajagopalan said.