NEWS - Monday, April 4, 2011

Microsoft May Announce Silverlight for Xbox

Microsoft may be preparing to announce plans to introduce Silverlight for the Xbox 360, WinRumors has learned.

The software giant looks set to detail its plans at the MIX11 conference next week in Las Vegas. Persons familiar with the company’s plans say the feature has been in the works for some months. Microsoft previously revealed in November that it was planning to bring Silverlight to the Xbox as part of the next wave. Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s .NET Developer Platform, held a special Silverlight 5 preview day in December but chose to hold back the Xbox details until MIX11.

Guthrie will keynote at next week’s MIX11 conference and is expected to unveil the company’s plans to bring Silverlight 5 support to Xbox. Microsoft is positioning Silverlight as its strong multi-platform base to bridge the gap between mobile, PC and Xbox. Extending Silverlight into the Xbox market will allow Microsoft to create unique opportunities for application developers. One source, who wishes to remain anonymous, hinted that the company may be planning to create its own application Marketplace that would see developers scale their Windows Phone applications over to the big screen Xbox experience.

Microsoft’s Silverlight Xbox play ties in nicely with the company’s plans for Windows 8 too. The software giant is creating an "immersive" touch experience for Slate and Tablet based devices. The experience will include a Metro based user interface according to sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans. Microsoft will include a new application model codenamed "Jupiter" that will allow developers to create Silverlight based applications, deployed as AppX packages (.appx). The packages will be part of a new Windows application store, pre-installed with Windows 8.

Silverlight’s new position backs up previous statements by company officials that the company’s strategy had "shifted". Microsoft’s Bob Muglia previously revealed that Microsoft’s strategy had "shifted" for Silverlight in an interview with Mary Jo Foley at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October last year. Bob Muglia admitted to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that "HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything". Muglia made his comments at a time when the future of Silverlight was uncertain.

After Muglia’s revelations the company went on damage control and even CEO Steve Ballmer issued a statement. "Silverlight provides the richest media streaming capabilities on the web, and we will continue to deliver that on both Windows and Mac," wrote the Microsoft CEO in a statement released in November. Microsoft has promised "ground breaking multiscreen platform experiences now targeting the XBOX" with Silverlight 5. It’s now time for the company to reveal its real three screens and a cloud.



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