These are various Silverlight posts i wrote on my original blog from 2006-2009, merged here for posterity.
“WPF/E” now called Silverlight
I’m in vegas!, and together with some colleagues I had the incredible experience of seeing Prince perform last night at the Rio Casino’s 3121 club. Prince has definitely still got “it”–incredible presence, virtuouso guitar, and time perfected master showman skills that make everyone have a great time when he is in da house. As I was contemplating at the end of the show, gazing at the spinning “symbol” that he famously changed his name to, I was reminded of my excitement at our “WPF/E”‘s technology’s soon to be new identity.
Yes, the “technology formerly known as” WPF/E can now be known as Microsoft Silverlight.
Ok, so the heckling can end (which was well deserved for the WPFE loveliness), as Silverlight is a great brand for this technology–it suggests the attributes of better, richer, more compelling, more productive and satisfying web experiences. We had a lot of fun testing the name (and the runner ups, none of which were called “Microsoft Media Player”, by the way…) and hearing from end user consumers, as well as designers and developers. What struck me over and over and over again, and has for three years now since my arrival at msft, is how engaged and eager the community is to learn of Microsoft’s entry into this part of the market… it’s going to be a lot easier to have a conversation about Silverlight then it was for “wa-pu-fee” (as we often annunciated the former name).
We are going from a crappy code name to a great product name… but as with the 1980s auteur from Minnesotta, the name is not the real issue. Silverlight will be measured by how it tranforms the experiences of consumers and businesses in the years ahead, and by the creative and technical capabilities that it puts in the hands of designers and developers.
I’ll be blogging a lot more about Silverlight, this week about Silverlight and it’s very cool features for cost-effective, high quality deliver of media… and in the weeks ahead leading up to our Mix event April 30th and beyond about the broader development story, tooling, and more
Asia Silverlight Evangelism
Well life and work sure do take up a lot of time, but if there ever was a reason to make time for this work related blog effort, that time must be now! The parade of amazing Silverlight applications coming online here in Asia is really heating up. I want to give a shout out first to my favorite Silverlight 1.0 application anywhere in the world, Korea’s mNet music video gallery/mashup. What’s so great about this particular app is that it has a database of over 1m music videos/clips from mNet’s long running inventory of Windows Media format media assets–great example of how companies with installed base of content can put that online in a richer interface using Silverlight, without any recompressing/transcoding of media. The UX of this app itself is super slick–great search/sifting with paged results, drag and drop a clip onto the main window for a PIP (picture in picture) playback effect with great performance, including full screen, overlay ads are inserted in periodically. Do a search for “rain”, who is the hot as hell Korean pop star king, crossing over to China/Japan and even the USA (i heard there was an elaborate bit about him on the Colbare Report?)
http://tvdeep.mnet.com/ (yes, the landing page uses a different technology, but once you get into the player (below) you are in Silverlight nirvana…
VOD in Japan with “Gyao Station”
April 8, 2008
Continuing the theme of Silverlight wins in the region, the Gyao (Japan’s leading VOD portal, owned by USEN, a large film distributor in market) application that went up in February is a nifty mini-portal that culls media options available for playback into a subject/gallery with nice UX. The app is data driven so Gyao has been very happy using it to program content from their “tail”, “new arrival”, or “promotion” inventory. This app is only really viewable/consumable to its fullest when you are within Japan IP address, given the content protection/rights issues associated with a VOD app like this.
Yahoo! Japan Silverlight Demo
April 8, 2008
Yahoo! Japan (Japan’s #1 website by unique users and brand impact) demoed a killer UX concept today using Silverlight, a visualization front end for search and tail content that otherwise is hard to navigate/discover across their massive content repository. Very creative UI concepts, and great integration of some of Silverlight 2’s killer features such as DeepZoom and high def videos. A video of the demo is posted online:
Sina Silverlight Music Experience, 2008
April 15, 2008
When it rains… Sina, another of China’s heavyweight web properties (they are the #1 portal, specializing in news and blogs), announced Silverlight plans and showed a kick ass music search/playback/browsing experience that took inspiration from the “deepzoom” catalog concept seen elsewhere (such as HardRock site) but took it to the next level with awesome interactions, dynamic results that come in from general web search, and integrated media playback. What was particularly interesting was how quickly they build the app, with their product unit manager claiming that once the visual designs were done, they build the working prototype (with real web service integration) over the weekend! Extra points for integrating his powerpoint slides into the app itself, as a series of DeepZoom objects in the collection–got a big laugh/”ahh” from the audience at the press event.
Can’t wait to see the app live, expected within a month. Here’s a video recording of the demo, without audio unfortunately (lots of Chinese pop music playing!)
Tencent Silverlight Media Services, 2008
Tencent Corporation announced plans to use Silverlight for a series of services and media experiences on their portal and in their client apps. Tencent is an amazing company, largely unheard of outside of China, but arguably the most potent brand here in China, in the form of “QQ”, which is what they call their instant messaging application and a series of related social applications for blogging, media, shopping, etc. The QQ brand touches over 300m unique users, more people than in all of the United States. It’s been incredibly exciting for our team to be working with the Tencent team because of the scope of what’s possible for Silverlight in terms of transforming the UX of so many applications types.
In the demo that they showed publicly this week, along with their announcement of choosing Silverlight for a series of apps coming in the months ahead, they showed Silverlight integrated with their IM client, within their blog app (for embedable media playback controls, screen shot below), with desktop and browser portal home page “friend notification widgets”, and with Silverlight 2’s DeepZoom feature applied to e-commerce shopping experience within their Paipai property.
Video of the demo they showed is up on their labs site, http://labs.qq.com/e/51/, with beta/live Silverlight apps expected this spring/summer.