Microsoft on Monday announced that it has finalized its Silverlight 2 rich Internet application platform. A beta version of Silverlight 2 was used to great effect during the Summer Olympics in August, and Microsoft says that the Silverlight 2-based NBC Olympics Web site had more than 50 million unique visitors over 17 days, resulting in 1.3 billion page views, 70 million video streams and 600 million minutes of video watched.
"We launched Silverlight just over a year ago, and already one in four consumers worldwide has access to a computer with Silverlight already installed," says Microsoft corporate vice president Scott Guthrie. "Silverlight represents a radical improvement in the way developers and designers build applications on the Web."
Where the initial Silverlight version was dedicated almost solely to video streaming, Silverlight 2 has evolved into a much more robust platform for rich Internet applications. It supports a Web-friendly subset of the .NET Framework, numerous built-in controls, advanced UI customization features, DRM content protection, and other features.
Silverlight 2 is now available as a free download from the Microsoft Web site. If you've already installed a pre-release version of the software, it will be updated to the final version automatically.