Microsoft Launches Silverlight 3 and Expression 3

SAN FRANCISCO — July 10, 2009 — Delivering on its commitment to help enable the creation and deployment of the world’s most compelling applications, Microsoft Corp. today launched Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Expression 3, combining groundbreaking new capabilities with simplified packaging to provide the industry’s leading media and rich Internet application (RIA) solution. In conjunction with Microsoft Visual Studio, Silverlight and Expression offer a highly collaborative development and design environment that simplifies the process of delivering engaging user experiences. Adoption of Microsoft’s platform continues to rapidly accelerate as evidenced by strong demand for Microsoft Silverlight 2. In less than nine months since its release, more than 1 in 3 Internet devices now have Silverlight 2 installed. In addition, a surge of new Silverlight and Expression customers were announced today, including MGM’s “SGU: Stargate Universe” and Continental Airlines Inc. In addition, NBC Sports announced its intention to use Silverlight for all of its high-quality online video delivery across its numerous sporting franchises.

“NBC Sports is committed to bringing our viewers premier sporting events such as the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) events, the Wimbledon Championships and the Olympic Games,” said Perkins Miller, senior vice president of Digital Media at NBC Sports. “NBC Sports has evaluated many different technologies for delivering high-quality experiences online, and none have delivered the video quality, scalability and business value that Microsoft Silverlight has consistently brought. As we look forward to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver as well as other major championships in 2010, we will be using Silverlight as the preferred technology to deliver the best in next-generation online high-definition video experiences.” 

Following quickly on the heels of NBC Universal’s deployment of Silverlight and Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) Smooth Streaming for its Live at Wimbledon video experience, Microsoft highlighted how other new customers are leveraging the power of Silverlight and Expression, including the following:

  • MGM: MGM’s “SGU: Stargate Universe” used Deep Zoom and Microsoft Photosynth within Silverlight to deliver an immersive experience on the official site, http://stargate.mgm.com, for the Stargate TV franchise, allowing fans to explore the sets where the show is filmed in great detail. Using Silverlight technology, MGM’s “SGU: Stargate Universe” can also extend greater flexibility to prospective advertisers through various in-stream ad formats supporting multiple publishing frameworks.

  • Continental Airlines: Continental is updating its call center reservation system by redeveloping the application as a RIA using Silverlight and delivered through a Web browser. This will enable the company to enhance customer service, reduce costs and increase productivity, processing more than 70,000 calls a day.

In addition to widespread customer adoption, Microsoft also highlighted the strong partner ecosystem, with more than 300 Microsoft partners in more than 30 countries helping customers around the world design, develop and deliver compelling experiences with Silverlight and Expression, including leading content delivery networks, solution providers, and encoding independent software vendors. More information about Silverlight partners is available at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/partners/default.aspx.

“Silverlight and Expression fill a clear need in the marketplace for a complete end-to-end solution that makes it easy for development teams to work together effectively, from concept to deployment, to create the types of rich interactive experiences today’s users expect,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Platform at Microsoft. “In a record amount of time, we’ve gone from being the industry newcomer to achieving a remarkable rate of industry adoption, rapidly delivering capabilities such as SketchFlow and IIS Smooth Streaming that are unmatched by other vendors. With more than 6 million developers with .NET programming skills worldwide and a platform that delivers a rich user experience at some of the lowest costs possible, Silverlight ubiquity is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’”

Create the Applications of the Future Today

As part of its commitment to provide powerful, low-cost solutions for building rich user experiences, Microsoft announced it is further simplifying the pricing and packaging for its design and development tools. For example, developers and designers can now purchase Visual Studio Professional Edition and Expression together for a reduced rate of only $999 (U.S.) estimated retail price. Silverlight remains a free runtime that almost anyone can use to deliver great Web experiences. More detailed information on pricing is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/silverlight.

Microsoft is introducing several groundbreaking features in Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 that enable development teams to create RIAs and media applications with capabilities not offered by competitors, including the following:

  • Expression SketchFlow. Available to customers just four months after its initial debut at MIX09, SketchFlow provides development teams unrivaled capabilities to rapidly prototype applications and take their ideas from concept to reality.

  • Out of Browser. Silverlight 3 provides the seamless ability to add out-of-browser, connected and disconnected scenarios for cross-platform applications, radically improving the productivity and capabilities over traditional RIAs.

  • IIS Smooth Streaming. As part of Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) Media Services and combined with Silverlight 3, IIS Smooth Streaming enables the industry’s first HDTV-quality (1080p) video experiences with rich interactivity for both on-demand and live video.

Silverlight 3 also delivers hundreds of features and controls that increase development team productivity, including 3-D and hardware graphics acceleration. Combined with continued innovation in world-class tools for development teams in Expression 3, which builds on and complements the strengths of Visual Studio and works with Windows Server, the global Web community is now empowered to create cutting-edge RIAs and media experiences.

All this news and more will be highlighted as part of the Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 interactive virtual launch experience available at http://www.seethelight.com. Visitors can watch product demos, visit customer and partner pavilions and see the latest in digital design and development in the new “Visual Kitchen.” Replays of the July 10 launch event keynote and in-depth product sessions will also be available.

Product Information and Availability

Silverlight 3 is available today for download at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight. Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight may be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 3. Expression 3 will be available within the next 30 days, including a free, 60-day trial version available at http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it. A Release Candidate of Expression Blend 3 with SketchFlow is available today for download.

A full list of the new features and capabilities in Silverlight 3 and Expression 3 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/silverlight.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Visit the Silverlight Virtual Press Room:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/silverlight/default.mspx

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