Microsoft is very late to the party with Silverlight, its cross-browser cross-platform plug-in for rich media on the web. Adobe's Flash is so far ahead delivering stuff to look at that it seemed Microsoft would have no chance to catch up. But what if it was better? A lot better? This sounds better:
A lot of the demonstrations of Silverlight technology have dealt with multimedia - particularly online video, and Silverlight has a very strong hand in this area. Online video has traditionally been associated with Flash, and most users are familiar with the constraints that such video has such as quality levels and fullscreen viewing. Using Silverlight you can distribute multimedia as part of the application at quality levels up to 720p (high definition) and also in native full screen (not just a maximized browser screen). The demonstrations shown today were simply gorgeous, and we are finally seeing a web-based video distribution model that can compete with both desktop-based downloads as well as DVD and other offline content.
Tech Crunch has the best overview of Silverlight we've seen. Read it here.