Home > Web Design Tools > Silverlight, DeepZoom, ever so shiny

Silverlight, DeepZoom, ever so shiny


At last year’s Mix conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft made it very clear that they were playing for keeps with Silverlight, their platform for building “rich Internet applications” within the browser. They showed an early version of the engine they’d use with NBC to stream Olympic coverage, lots of it, and developers were in awe.

While the video and user interface and video capabilities were cool, people were even more impressed with the DeepZoom demonstration that was used for the Hard Rock Memorabilia site. DeepZoom is way of breaking up huge images into smaller chunks and allowing the user to zoom in deeper and deeper. The memorabilia site actually has some “easter eggs” in it, images within images. Find Paul McCartney’s letter, and in that you’ll find several restaurant images, which in turn has another image in it.

After nearly a year, Silverlight 2 was finally released, and so far it’s enjoying around 20% penetration. For this year’s conference, they’ve launched A Website Named Desire, which further demos DeepZoom and some of the ways you can get really involved with it. It talks about something near and dear to my heart as Digital Day’s technical architect… process!

Aside from all of the eye candy that Silverlight can enable, one of its greatest strengths from a developer standpoint is its ability to push rich user experiences via the browser. The potential for line-of-business applications is huge, and in my mind, makes a normal Windows application obsolete (not to mention it will work on a Mac as well). There is no installing, no version or updating issues, just a Web browser. We’re already looking at our line up of projects and looking for appropriate uses in this area.

I’ll be attending Mix again this year, and I’m interested to see what they plan to spring on us!

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