Microsoft Announces Silverlight: A New Cross-Browser, Cross-Platform Plug-In For Video & Rich Applications

It’s been a long time in the making and I am happy to announce that today, Microsoft officially announced Silverlight. Silverlight is a a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Why am I happy about this? Well for starters, for the past two years I have been complaining to Microsoft that their Windows Media customers feel abandoned. There has been a lack of support for the Windows Media platform for quite some time and Microsoft had ignored the video market for the past few years. Finally, that is now going to change. Customers who use Windows Media and partners who have been building on top of Windows Media are once again going to get the support they need to make the end-user experience better – which is what video on the web is all about – the users experience.

We have a feature story about Silverlight on which gives more details and also covers Adobe’s announcement today of their new media player. (more on that in a later post) Microsoft has kept the development of Silverlight under wraps for quite some time but we’ve been getting the low-down on the platform over the past few weeks so I’ll have a bunch to talk about over the next few days as more details about Silverlight are made public.

This is a big day for the industry. Anytime you have two companies like Microsoft and Adobe both vying for control of the format content creators use for video is a good thing. Competition means we’ll have more products come to the market faster as each company tries to out do one another.