Windows Phone 7 Silverlight isn’t “Silverlight lite”

netflixwp7 In an interview with Techradar Microsoft corporate vice president Scott Guthrie insisted the Silverlight on Windows Phone 7 was not watered down in any way.

"This isn’t Silverlight ‘lite’, it isn’t Silverlight ‘different’, it is Silverlight," corporate vice president Scott Guthrie told TechRadar. It includes "all the APIs of the current Silverlight version 3 and quite a bit of Silverlight 4; it’s a superset plus some extras".

The difference is less about what the phone can run and more about thinking about what you need on a phone. "Pretty much all the features that we think are mobile-specific, that you’d want in the phone, are there," says Guthrie.

"There are features like printing and more business features that don’t necessarily make sense in the phone, but all the graphics, the access to the webcam and microphone, those we already have."

Microsoft has also done a lot of optimisation of the way Silverlight is rendered on Windows Phone, mainly, says Guthrie, "because on the phone you have ARM processors typically and instead of one giant one you have about four cores the more work you’re doing on a processor – one quarter of an Arm processor – the slower your app is going to be. So we did a lot of work to partition the graphics operators out across multiple CPUs, and the animation system. We have to do that because otherwise you can’t get above 12 frames per second."

Interestingly, he promises that those improvements will make their way back to desktop Silverlight; "probably in an update to Silverlight 4 and certainly by [the next version]".

While having a full implementation of Silverlight on Windows Phone is encouraging, we know at present Silverlight will not actually function in the browser yet, dashing hopes of being able to access Silverlight-based websites such as Netflix streaming straight out of the box. This is however a feature expected to arrive eventually.

Read more at Techradar here.

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