I love Silverlight. There. I’ve said it. I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for developers to write beautiful, client-side, apps using the tools they know and love – Visual Studio 2010. We can also use the gorgeous Expression suite (especially Expression Blend) to design and author rich, interactive applications.
Silverlight also plays delightfully well with SharePoint. SharePoint 2010 has the Silverlight Client Object Model – a rich API that allows developers to work with SharePoint 2010 objects in batches, remotely.
The two together make a very good partnership.
In this video Scott Guthrie talks about the developer community – did you know that there are over 1 million developers who use Silverlight today? There are also hundreds of recognised user groups around the world. Quite an impressive boast for such a new development platform.
Hang on. It *feels* new, but it’s not *that* new is it? Silverlight is now a mature platform that has been around in one guise or another since late 2006. It’s been a .NET platform since version 1.1/2.0 in 2007, and Microsoft have just unveiled version 5.0.
Silverlight has fast become the application platform of choice for the Web and Enterprises alike. The video shows what SAP have managed to do using Silverlight as a browser-based front-end for visualising data in a rich and impressively interactive way. Another familiar app Scott demos is the Silverlight Facebook app by Telerik, which is available at http://facebook.telerik.com.
Silverlight is also the language of choice for Windows Phone 7 development. There are now more than 3000 Windows Phone 7 applications available for download or purchase on the Microsoft Office Marketplace. I have an iPhone and an Android device, and I’m jealous.