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Silverlight for Mobile primer session at MIX08

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4 comments   /   aggregated from Adam Kinney, Silverlight Surfer on Mar 06, 2008  /  original article
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Categories: Announcements

One of the bigger announcements at MIX this year is Silverlight for Mobile Devices.  I had heard it was coming, but I wasn't able to spend any time looking into it before the conference.  So once I saw that there was a new session announced called "Mobile Devices and Microsoft Silverlight: A Primer on the New Technology" (we need permalinks for each session) I made sure to make my way to Delfino 4003 to attend.

Amit Chopra and David Kline presented an overview of the product roadmap as well as some application design guidelines.  You could definitely tell that they are enjoying the development of the product as Amit showed off mobile games he had made for his kids and David said flat out this was the most fun he had in awhile.

The different scenarios they are hoping to address include News and Media, DataSnacking (like checking the weather with WeatherBug), Retail and Social Networking (I want a new twitter UI on my phone).

Their goal is to release a CTP of version 1 by Q2CY08.  Version 1's technical details include:

  • Parity with Silverlight 1.0
  • Runs in IE Mobile as a browser plug-in
  • Runs on Windows Mobile 6 Standard and Professional
  • JavaScript Support
  • Possible Device  Specific Media Stack

The media playback is an interesting feature to implement.  Currently they do not ship with any codecs and make full use of those installed on the device.  The positive side is that the codecs on the device are most likely optimized for that device and will perform well.  The issue they are still looking into is how well the same media will play within those different devices using different codecs.  This is an area they are still finalizing.

One the real benefits that I see is that as a developer you are using the same set of tools and code whether you are creating Silverlight 1.0 apps for the web or for mobile.  Visual Studio and Expression Blend are the tools and Visual Studio also includes an emulator, for convenience and those of you like me who are still running Windows Mobile 5.  Apparently the browser model in Windows Mobile 5 is not near as extensive as Windows Mobile 6, so it would be a lot for work to back port it to 5.  That's ok, I'd like a new phone anyways.

The other big announcement regarding Silverlight Mobile is that it will also run on the Nokia platform.  This is very cool, keeping Silverlight true to form by being cross-platform.

So when does it become real?

The team is planning to ship a CTP of version 1 in the 2nd quarter of 08 and then RTM the 4th quarter of 08.  Along with the RTM of version 1, they are planning to release a CTP of version 2 which will match Silverlight 2 including the managed runtime.



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  • RE: Silverlight for Mobile primer session at MIX08  

    posted by Richie Scott on Mar 06, 2008 03:59
    Cannot wait....
  • RE: Silverlight for Mobile primer session at MIX08  

    posted by Jim Wilson on Mar 06, 2008 07:59
    I've worked pretty closely with the IE Mobile implementations on both WM5 & WM6 and I can confirm that the feature gap between IE Mobile on WM5 & WM6 is significant. Both DOM & JavaScript support on WM5 is quite limited whereas on WM6, the DOM is just a bit short of being full W3C DOM 1.0 compliant and the scripting is now JavaScript 5.6. One of the big hassles with targeting WM6 with ASP.NET apps is that ASP.NET doesn't even realize the significant feature increase in IE Mobile on WM6. As a result, ASP.NET incorrectly turns off some of its most powerful client-side features when accessed from WM6 because it believes that the WM6 browser cannot support them. If you're interested in doing anything serious targeting WM6 you'll need to install a *.browser file on the server that provides an accurate description of WM6's IE Mobile feature support. I ran into the issue with ASP.NET not recognizing WM6 feature support a couple of months ago. Because I had to support WM6, I spent several hours one day working out the appropriate *.browser definition for WM6 which I've posted at - If you plan on doing any work with ASP.NET and WM6, I encourage you to feel free to use it. Jim Wilson
  • RE: Silverlight for Mobile primer session at MIX08  

    posted by emil on Mar 06, 2008 15:36
    Yep, that make sense. Personally, I've never developed for a mobile device and I'm not sure what problems could be faced while using a *.browser file. Anyway, the mobile support is a big step. I hope someday to see support for iPhone also (may be with Moonlight) ;)
  • RE: Silverlight for Mobile primer session at MIX08  

    posted by Dan./ on Jun 02, 2009 12:46
    Any sign of Silverlight for wm6? A release date ever?

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