Silverlight Timetable: 2.0 Coming This Summer

Eagle-eyed ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley spotted a “rough timetable” for upcoming releases of Microsoft’s Flash-killer Silverlight (check out ReadWriteWeb’s previous coverage here, here, and here). The timetable pegs the full release for Silverlight 2.0 to come sometime over the summer. It comes via a FAQ posted on the MSDN blog of Microsoft blogger Ashish Thapliyal.

Below is the rough roadmap presented by Thapliyal. Though it is rather sparse, it indicates that the final release of Silverlight 2.0 should ship sometime over the summer if all goes according to plan.

  • Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 (Q1CY08 with limited (non commercial) Go-Live) — this was released at Mix ‘08 in early March
  • Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 (Q2CY08 with Go-Live)
  • Silverlight 2.0 RTM (Summer 2008) — Exact timing TBD
  • Silverlight v.next — We are working on a v.Next plan and have nothing to announce at this time
  • Silverlight for mobile — No date available

Thapliyal also promised backwards compatibility between Silverlight 1.0 and 2.0 and that the Beta 2 of the second version of Microsoft’s Flash-alike will be very similar to the final version. Beta 2 is espected at the end of May.

Interestingly, Thapliyal takes a slight shot at Adobe in the Silverlight 2.0 FAQ, with a question asking how Silverlight’s market penetration compares to Adobe’s claim of 98.8% of all Internet users. “We’ve announced that we’re at about 1.5 million downloads per day at the moment. The problem with putting out some % values like Adobe do is that it is hard to be accurate and hard to verify,” Thapliyal writes, which is perhaps an indication that Microsoft doesn’t buy Adobe’s published numbers.

Right now, Silverlight’s main strength has been video, and Microsoft’s skill in forging corporate partnerships — like the ones it has formed with the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, NBC, and Nokia — should help push the client out to users. Silverlight 2.0 promises to integrate more of the WPF UI programming controls, as well as other bits which could make it a better option for Rich Internet App creation than the first version. It will be interesting to see what sort of things are made with Silverlight after the final release of version 2.0 ships, and if it can make a dent in Flash’s dominating marketshare.

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