Archive | December 2, 2010

Silverlight 5 officially announced, strong on media support and hardware acceleration

There was (and still is) some uncertainty about Silverlight future, especially with HTML 5 around and how Microsoft wants to position it…There were talks about its future mainly as a development platform for Windows phone 7 devices, etc. All these talks however didn’t stop the developers of cooking yet another Silverlight version, number 5. The new version improves media playback support promising 1080p video streaming from a netbook with a minimal impact over its battery life. This is done by relying strongly on GPU hardware acceleration.

Many other features added to Silverlight 5 were chosen based on developer popularity vote and Microsoft claims about 70 percent of the suggestions were incorporated into Silverlight 5. Among these we can find Trickplay enabling variable speed media playback, a new DRM (DECE), improved power management, multiple desktop windows, low latency networking (games?), OpenType fonts for printing, multi-column text flow (any newspaper reading app in mind?), etc.

There are still a lot of goodies to be announced so check Microsoft Silverlight fire-starter event for more info including videos ,tips on creating web apps using WCF, REST and LINQ, RIA services, data binding in Silverlight and Windows Phone, etc.

Silverlight 5 will be available in beta version sometime in the first half of 2011 with the final version scheduled for the end of the same year.

Samsung TV App store reaches 1 million downloads

If you need any more convincing an App store is the way to go for a company, search no more. Every company creating an app store has been successful, including Samsung. Not too long ago we reviewed Samsung BD-7500 Blu-ray player and the applications that ship / are available for download and we had a rather good impression. Now, Samsung announces that the number of applications downloaded from their store reached a cool 1 million and while this doesn’t really compare with iPhone App Store for example, it is impressive nonetheless.

Samsung App Store launched in March 2010 and the Samsung Apps are available on their 2010 models for Blu-ray Players and certain TV sets. Among the most notable examples we can find Netflix, Vudu, Google Maps, AccuWeather, Blockbuster, USA Today, YouTube, Pandora, Picasa, Games, etc, over 200 in total. Most are free, for some you’ll have to pay.

Currently, various manufacturers are using App stores to differentiate themselves from the competition. However, when everybody will have an App store, expect to see some deals signed and who know, maybe we’ll see Samsung App Store implemented on Roku media players, or any such combination.

Samsung Apps are built on a SDK Platform created around open standards including XML, Java Script, Adobe Flash Lite 3.0, etc. Eventually, Samsung App store will provide applications for all their platforms including smartphones.