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What is Microsoft Silverlight, and do I need it?

Question: What is Microsoft Silverlight, and do I need it?

Answer: My Mom asked me this question the other day and I thought it would be a good tech question. As you may have noticed when doing your continuous Windows Updates there is now an optional software update to download Microsoft’s Silverlight.

Silverlight is Microsoft’s technology to improve web content and your overall Internet experience. With Silverlight, browsers can play MP3, WMV and WMA files without Windows Media Player opening or the WMP ActiveX control. It supports multi-media content such as animation, video playback, and interactive features. It is similar to Flash or Shockwave.

Do you really need it? Probably not yet. Some web pages are starting to use it. Will you need it in the future? Probably. If and when it becomes widely implemented, you will need it to access more and more of the content on more and more pages. Will I download it myself? Yes, I might just so I can test out its features. Like most Microsoft products “Resistant is Futile”.

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