What is Microsoft Silverlight?

Silverlight was first launched as an open source cross-browser plug-in in 2007. It provides a platform for rich media content and interactive applications and supports several video codecs and formats.

Silverlight quickly became obsolete due to major online partners like NBC and Netflix switching over to HTML5, which is built directly into modern web browsers without needing plugins. Removing Silverlight may free up system resources and enhance performance depending on your usage needs.

Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)

Microsoft Silverlight is a Web application framework that allows developers to build rich Internet applications (RIAs) that run within browsers or off of them (out-of-browser). Microsoft created this platform as an alternative to Adobe Flash, which isn’t supported by all major browsers. Applications developed with Silverlight use Windows Presentation Foundation technology and use an extensible Application Markup Language called eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML). TestArchitect automates testing of applications built using Silverlight.

RIAs offer greater interactivity than traditional Web sites and can support data visualization and advanced functionality. For instance, a traditional sales data page might require additional server interaction in order to display charts or statistical analyses on sales figures; with an RIA, calculations can be performed locally on client devices so results are displayed instantly instead of having to send back and forth between server and client.

Although RIAs provide many advantages, they also pose security challenges. Because these applications are downloaded to client machines, they are vulnerable to attacks that attempt to elevate privileges or divert the app elsewhere. To mitigate such risks, developers should design RIAs so only authorized users have access to sensitive information, and create a secure infrastructure that supports authentication and authorization.

An additional challenge lies in the lack of an umbrella organization to oversee RIA technologies like Adobe’s Flash and Silverlight as well as HTML5. Microsoft is taking steps to address this issue through their Open Web Platform initiative which is meant to become an open standard among RIA frameworks.

Some RIAs can become resource-intensive and hinder user Web experiences when using large graphics and audio files. To reduce these effects, developers should optimize RIA performance by minimizing network traffic and designing stateless business components. They should implement load balancing in order to disperse client requests among multiple servers and isolate storage functions which prevent client-side data loss. Developers should strive to design RIAs such that they can recover from errors more easily, such as by providing friendly error messages to the user and preventing server affinity – which occurs when all requests from one RIA client must go directly to one server.


Microsoft Silverlight gives web developers the capability of seamlessly incorporating streaming video, audio, and animation into their Web applications. It is often used to create games or rich Internet experiences but can also serve as an alternative to JavaScript for business applications. Silverlight works across most Web browsers while Adobe Flash requires downloading an additional plug-in; its implementation caused some tech journalists to question whether using an unknown web technology was wise when most PC users already had Flash installed on their machines. NBC’s partnership with Microsoft to offer Olympic coverage on its website caused further debate: tech journalists questioned NBC’s decision given most PC users already had Adobe Flash installed whereas Silverlight was being implemented into Olympic coverage on NBC’s Olympic coverage website due to their heavy reliance on Silverlight; tech journalists questioned its use at which PC users already had Adobe Flash installed onto their machines compared with prior relying solely on another technology: even though most PC users already had Adobe Flash installed, unlike Silverlight installed.

Silverlight software features an architecture, or its design and layout, that serves as its framework. This platform comprises two main components that interact via eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML). The presentation core handles user interface design while the.NET framework handles any necessary functions underlying these two major parts. Furthermore, Silverlight includes file management features as well as installation/upgrade elements to further customize its use for specific projects.

Silverlight can run within any web browser or stand alone as a desktop application, providing a sandboxed environment when running standalone. When run outside the browser, Silverlight uses access control measures to prevent unintended access to users’ computer or network resources. Silverlight supports both Windows and Mac OS X systems as well as most APIs of.NET Framework such as data binding, extensibility framework management and internationalization support.

Sandboxed environments also allow for remote debugging, enabling developers to inspect code that runs in their browser without logging onto a production server. This feature gives developers an invaluable tool for testing applications before deploying them onto Web pages or desktop clients.

Silverlight allows SharePoint developers to quickly build business applications that take full advantage of its power and functionality, including using its Client Object Model as well as dynamic loading of assemblies that perform various functions such as displaying data from databases or connecting to SharePoint servers.


Microsoft Silverlight gives software developers an invaluable tool for building high-quality video games for the Web, including high-resolution graphics and animations, streaming audio/video formats, cross-platform support on both Windows and Mac OS, powerful set of tools that facilitate dynamic user engagement within applications, as well as supporting dynamic interaction between user and application.

By clicking various web-based controls, a gamer can interact with their favorite web game by moving their character around to explore environments, gather items for use in battle against other characters in real-time combat, as well as communicate with them using text chat or voice chat.

Silverlight can also be used for developing other applications and media products beyond games, including streaming Olympic coverage online by NBC as well as National Basketball Association broadcasts online via Silverlight technology.

Some critics of Microsoft’s platform have taken aim at its proprietary nature, alleging it may stifle competition and support an “absorb, extend, and extinguish” strategy that could result in the death of Flash. Silverlight uses patent-encumbered audio and video codecs; some critics allege these will also hinder competition and may contribute to Flash’s eventual demise.

As Silverlight was initially introduced, its critics complained of its difficulty to install and security concerns. Furthermore, compatibility issues between browsers and platforms caused many businesses to switch technologies instead. Eventually these complaints led many of them to switch.

Silverlight ultimately outweighed its drawbacks. Web developers found Silverlight attractive as it offered features not available through HTML or Flash; unlike Flash it also supported on both Windows and Mac OS systems and provided richer interactivity and multimedia features that allowed for smoother video playback.

Microsoft created Silverlight in the late 2000s with an aim of revolutionizing the Internet. It aimed to offer features beyond traditional HTML and Flash such as interactive applications and world-class video games.

Web applications

Silverlight provides developers with various methods for developing web applications that range from utilitarian devices to challenging video games, using its powerful tools and interface elements ranging from text and button controls to complex scrolling panels and dynamic graphics. Silverlight can even tie these UI elements together interactivity by employing both XAML markup language and JavaScript programming language.

Silverlight applications are typically deployed as browser plug-ins that end users install onto their systems. Web pages containing Silverlight content typically utilize object> or embed> tags to reference its unique classid and MIME type, thus initiating its instantiation within browser hosts like Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Silverlight applications are built using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and XAML markup languages as its foundation. WPF provides a vector-based rendering engine capable of supporting 2-D and 3-D graphics, while XAML allows programmers to define how their UI elements appear visually.

At initial deployment, Silverlight out-of-browser applications utilize a user interface (UI) to offer users a choice on whether to install their applications; if they opt in, a setup window opens within their Web browser requesting verification that this action should take place.

Once installed, Silverlight out-of-browser clients operate more like operating system applications than Web-based plug-in applications. They provide access to filesystem resources on your PC as well as scripting languages not accessible through Web plug-in versions of your app.

Microsoft may no longer support or update Silverlight, yet many websites and business applications still depend on it. Uninstalling this software could cause certain applications to break or present security risks on your computer. Be sure to follow all uninstallation prompts closely for optimal removal; and if an older application that used to rely on Silverlight stops working properly with other technologies contact its source for updates if available.

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