Microsoft Silverlight to come to S60

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Nokia has announced at CeBIT that it will make Microsoft's Silverlight (think Flash clone) available for S60, as well as for Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets. Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering 'next-generation' media experiences and rich interactive applications. Microsoft will demonstrate Silverlight on S60 during the opening keyote at their MIX08 conference on March 5 and availability to developers is intended to be later this year. Read on for more details and analysis.

Rafe's comment:

Silverlight is Microsoft's entry into the cross platform web/multimedia run time space. Other technologies in this space including Adobe Air (runtime environment for building rich Internet applications, using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML and Ajax) and JavaFX (JavaFX Mobile is of particular relevance). Nokia could also become a player in this area through its pending acquisition of Trolltech and its Qt technology.

Such technologies are used to build Rich Internet Appications (RIA). These are web applications that behave like and have the features of traditional desktop applications. Typically the have the user interface layer running locally, but the bulk of the application data and much of its processing is on a remote application/ web server.

Most of these technologies have or are planning to have a mobile component. The implementation details vary, but effectively they look to broaden the reach of these runtimes by making them available to mobile devices. As connected devices mobile are well suited to such technology. Moreover unified services that work across multiple platforms and device types (mobile / PC) can more easily be created.

The Silverlight announcement further burnishes S60's run time credentials. S60 runtimes now include Open C (with Qt for UI components coming soon), Python, Ruby (early stages), .NET (RedFiveLabs), Flash Lite, Silverlight, JME (Java), and Web Run Time (WRT).

Press release extract

"Today's consumers are very clear in what they want: easy access to tightly integrated services and data on any device," said Lee Williams, Senior Vice President in Nokia's Devices software organization. "Nokia's software strategy is based on cross-platform development environments, enabling the creation of rich applications across the Nokia device range.  Nokia aims to support market leading and content rich internet application environments and to embrace and encourage open innovation. By working with Microsoft, we are creating terrific opportunities and additional choices for the development community, S60 licensees and the industry as a whole."
Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering next-generation media experiences and rich interactive applications.  Silverlight is already powering thousands of applications around the world and organizations including Entertainment Tonight, the NBA and NBC Universal to deliver superior Web-based experiences to their customers.  The arrangement with Nokia will substantially extend the reach of Silverlight by making the platform available for hundreds of millions of devices, including S60 on Symbian smartphones from a range of manufacturers, as well as Nokia Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets.
"This is an important relationship on so many levels. Working with Nokia means we are easily able to reach a huge number of mobile users, including customers of all S60 licensees.  This is a significant step in gaining broad acceptance for Silverlight and ensuring it is platform agnostic. This is critical since we want to make sure developers and designers don't have to constantly recreate the wheel and build different versions of applications and services for multiple operating systems, browsers and platforms," said S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division.

The original press release is here.