Silverlight 3 available now

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Microsoft is holding an event at 10 am PT today to launch Silverlight 3 and Expression Studio 3, but it seems like they've jumped the gun and let Silverlight 3 into the wild a bit early. Ars Technica has the details.

On my system (running Microsoft Vista) Silverlight 3 RTW installed in Firefox and Internet Explorer, but under Chrome I was met with the message "This Web browser or operating system may not be compatible with Silverlight. Please review the system requirements and, if you wish to proceed, choose the link for your operating system." I did proceed and Silverlight-enabled sites do work under Chrome, but I can't confirm that it is running Silverlight 3.

Microsoft also provides a smooth streaming demo that works with older versions of Silverlight; again, it isn't clear if this works because of new server side Silverlight features or if this is some separate technology. (Microsoft has announced 'instant on' 1080P streaming for it's Xbox 360 game console; possibly this is the technology that will power that feature when it launches later this year?) Either way it's impressive. You can artificially cut the bitrate to see how a video will look for folks with slower net connections; the degradation is very graceful and the stream never stutters or cuts out. Plus it's an excuse to watch Big Buck Bunny again.

Lots of questions, and hopefully we'll get some answers once the event happens later today.

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