Microsoft releases Silverlight 3

The third version of Microsoft's Silverlight comes just eight months after the last udpate.

Silverlight logo

Microsoft has pushed Silverlight 3 out of the door, less than a year after the release of the second generation of its Flash challenger.

Silverlight 3 arrives only eight months after the launch of Silverlight 2, and brings a slew of important new features intended to tempt developers over to the Silverlight side.

Principal among these is support for hardware-based graphics acceleration, and new codec support for H.264, AAC audio and MPEG-4. There's also a raft of new APIs allowing developers to plug in their own codecs.

Microsoft is also making a big play of Silverlight 3's greater browser integration and ability to convert images into three dimensions thanks to the implementation of Photosynth. Furthermore, there's upgrades for the impressive DeepZoom technology and new pixel shader effects.

Other nifty additions include the ability to run Silverlight 3 outside the browser using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), allowing app developers to create Silverlight-based desktop apps.

This is aided and abetted by the ability to work offline and download content to cache. Support for multi-touch applications has also been added.

Click here to find out if Microsoft can make a success out of Silverlight.

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