Microsoft Silverlight 3 is live, and you can go ahead and update your browsers now over at Microsoft’s Silverlight page. Silverlight 3.0.40624.0 weighs in at 4.7MB, and works with Internet Explorer, Firefox 2 and 3, and Safari 3 and 4. Here’s a look at some of the major new features:
- Media: GPU hardware acceleration, new codec support (H.264, AAC, MPEG-4), raw bitstream Audio/Video API, and improved logging for media analytics
- Graphics: GPU Acceleration and hardware compositing, perspective 3D, bitmap and pixel API, pixel shader effects, and Deep Zoom improvements
- Application development: Deep linking, navigation and SEO, improved text quality, multi-touch support, 60+ controls available, and library caching support
- Data-binding improvements, validation error templates, server data push improvements, binary XML networking support, and multi-tier REST data support
Also, remember that Xbox 360 Instant-on 1080p stuff? That’s all powered by Silverlight 3 as well (yes, Silverlight is coming to your Xbox 360 dashboard.) It’s a solid upgrade, and the installation is pretty much immediate if you are on any sort of respectable broadband connection. Definitely worth a look, and you can bet that Microsoft will be pushing hard for a few big Silverlight exclusives, like they did with the Beijing Olympics.
Netflix continues their push for dominance today with their integration into Windows Media Center on PCs running either Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. If your Windows machine runs either of those operating systems, all you have to do is pull up Media Center, and in the TV + Movies section, you’ll now see a Netflix tile, powered by Silverlight. The cool thing here is that, unlike on some other devices, you can browse and search the entire Netflix library, manage both your Instant and DVD Queues, and even sort search results to just show titles available to watch instantly. I must say, we are loving how aggressive Netflix is being about getting their Watch Instantly service on more and more platforms. Wanna bet they soon appear on Apple TV?