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October 15, 2008

UPDATED: Silverlight 2.0 Released, Deep Zoom Composer Updated

Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Developer Division, has announced the final release of Silverlight 2.0. Scott runs the teams responsible for Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), ASP.NET, and IIS 7.0. Silverlight 2.0 is a major release for Microsoft’s Developer Division and allows developers to utilize the benefits of .NET within any browser. Scott also lets us know of several high-profile websites that are jumping onboard in utilizing Silverlight 2.0 such as CBS College Sports Network to broadcast 20,000 hours of live games, AOL with their new AOL Mail, and Blockbuster with their new MovieLink subscription service.

My favorite example of the capability of Silverlight 2.0 is the Hard Rock Memorabilia website using Deep Zoom. This impressive site, designed built by the awesome folks at Vertigo, showcases tons of music memorabilia of historic value such as The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour Bus which is my personal favorite since I got to see it in person several years ago at the Hard Rock in Universal Studios Orlando.

CORRECTION: The Hard Rock Memorabilia website (including the embeddable “widget” that you can share on your website as mentioned below) was actually conceived and designed by the creative geniuses at the San Francisco-based advertising and design firm Duncan/Channon. You can read about the new widget capabilities in the Hard Rock Memorabilia website in this Duncan/Channon blog post. They also have a post up about the Hard Rock Memorabilia website for you to read as well.

They have enabled a super cool widget feature on the Hard Rock Memorabilia website where you can zoom in to a specific object in the collection and choose to share it by embedding it on your blog! As you can see above, I embedded the Magical Mystery Tour Bus Widget for you to see here. Special thanks to OffBeatMammal for the heads up on the sharing functionality in the Hard Rock Memorabilia.

Speaking of Deep Zoom, to go along with the final release of Silverlight 2.0 a new version of Deep Zoom Composer has been released.

Download: Deep Zoom Composer Preview 2 (October 2008)

The Deep Zoom Composer Team tells us that this release is mostly an “under-the-hood” release focusing on reliability. In the near future, expect the Deep Zoom Composer Team to talk more about the changes as they polish the V1 release of Deep Zoom Composer. For those not sure what Deep Zoom Composer is: Deep Zoom Composer is an application that lets users very easily compose their very own Deep Zoom collections, similar (but not as complex) to the Hard Rock Memorabilia website I mentioned above. After composing a Deep Zoom collection in Deep Zoom Composer – you are then given the ability to upload your collection to the Microsoft Live Labs PhotoZoom website. Developers can use this tool to develop their own Deep Zoom collections as well for their own websites. You can check out my Deep Zoom collections on PhotoZoom here. I plan on adding many more collections


Congrats to the Silverlight Team on their Silverlight 2.0 release!