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The Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in is a feature rich development platform for websites that can be mostly compared to that of Macromedia Flex, Flash or even Shockwave. It was developed in an attempt to create a proprietary competitor to these platforms much like most Microsoft developments when it comes to the internet whether it is JavaScript or even Internet Explorer itself. Through Silverlight, one can develop a site which is capable of playing back all types of animations, working with vector style graphics and even playing video or audio.

In response to this development, the developers over at Linux have decided to counter Silverlight with what they call Moonlight. The reason for this is because the Microsoft Corporation has continuously used its wealth as being the “preferred” operating system to force people into using less than satisfactory web applications. This could be Internet Explorer which continues to be far behind the current W3C standards, or the fact that Windows had forced its users to use this platform and even though they have since been held accountable as a monopoly for this, people still continue to use Internet Explorer because they do not know the differences.

However, in comparison to that of Flash, seeing as though it is not compiled data, the Silverlight navigational systems on a website can be indexed. It is more closely related to that of the newer Macromedia Flex development in that it makes use of AJAX like communication in that XML files are needed for the files to operate properly. But since Silverlight is a proprietary development, you are left having to deal with Microsoft files like the WMV and the WMA although it can handle MP3s as well. Unfortunately, you cannot access Silverlight websites using Firefox or other Gecko based browsers.

Furthermore, because of the files that it uses, this also means that you will be unable to access these files on any Linux based operating system as there are requirements for Direct X and other, once again Microsoft proprietary developments. While many Microsoft developers stand by the use of Silverlight in comparison to that of Adobe developments, since it has not bee standardised due to cross compatibility issues, unless Microsoft starts playing ball and allowing other operating systems access to the source code, chances are that this development will join the hundred of others which are not really used anymore.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 04/03/2009
 

 


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