Microsoft Silverlight: Light Up the Web with DRM?
I was kind of surprised and pleased to read that Silverlight is being launched on both Windows and OS X; it seemed like an excessively generous olive branch to the MacBook Pro-toting webdev cadre. Because in every other field Microsoft is happy to blithely presume that Mac users are a rounding error on their Windows-led cash cows.
And Silverlight does look well thought through. The video performance looks terrific, and the fact that it installs on IE without even requiring the browser to be restarted is undeniably attractive.
Cramming in an implementation of the .NET CLR is genius and yet defiantly 1996-era Microsoft; if you remember that far back, the first rollout of ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer 4 and Visual Basic 5 offered very similar functionality in terms of building rich applications within the browser. It was excellent fun building demos with that stuff, and I’m sure it’ll be even more thrilling with the benefit of Silverlight’s several orders of magnitude increased complexity.
But the brightest bit of Silverlight is still the video delivery, and I think it’s what will drive the adoption of the plugin. I’m wondering if Silverlight supports DRM; if so, perhaps it’s a way for the BBC’s iPlayer to make the leap to OS X quicker than we might otherwise expect.
Oh, and I wonder if Silverlight will work on the iPhone, too.