Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform implementation of the .NET Framework for building and delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIA) for the Web.
Silverlight uses the Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) to ease UI development (e.g. controls, animations, graphics, layout, etc.) while using managed code or dynamic languages for application logic.
You can also create Silverlight applications that run outside of the browser on your desktop. Finally, you use the Silverlight framework to create applications for Windows Phone.
Silverlight enables you to create a state-of-the-art application that has the following features:
- It is a cross-browser, cross-platform technology. It runs in all popular Web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and on Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X.
- It enables you to create Windows Phone applications.
- It is supported by a small download that installs in seconds.
- It streams video and audio. It scales video quality to everything from mobile devices to desktop browsers to 720p HDTV video modes.
- It includes compelling graphics that users can manipulate—drag, turn, and zoom—directly in the browser.
- It reads data and updates the display, but it doesn't interrupt the user by refreshing the whole page.
- The application can run in the Web browser or you can configure it so users can run it on their computer (out-of-browser). In addition, you can use your knowledge of the Silverlight framework to create Windows Phone applications.
You can create Silverlight applications in a variety of ways. You can use Silverlight markup to create media and graphics, and manipulate them with dynamic languages and managed code. Silverlight also enables you to use professional-quality tools like Visual Studio for coding and Microsoft Expression Blend for layout and graphic design.