Silverlight 3 goes live on Microsoft's servers

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A day earlier than expected, though not without precedent, Microsoft's servers began reporting to Silverlight users today the availability of version 3 of the company's portable media runtime for Web applications.

The big change that we expect Microsoft to officially make tomorrow is the introduction of a more stand-alone aspect to the Silverlight runtime. While Web apps today may technically be "installed on the desktop," they still require some type of browser intervention -- and by default (or by design, depending on your point of view), this means Internet Explorer.

There may not be an Internet Explorer for at least some users of Windows 7E in Europe come next October; at least, we're told to expect, folks installing that system will be given options enabling them not to choose Internet Explorer. So a browser-independent Silverlight isn't just a design innovation but an urgent necessity.

Formally introduced last March at MIX '09, Silverlight is also expected by developers to contain support for 720p HD video playback using H.264 codecs, and the first runtime support for 3D graphics.

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