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Microsoft to open source some of Silverlight

Microsoft is expected to show a new friendliness to the open-source community by unveiling plans to release the source code to a part of its Silverlight technology at MIX 07 next week, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Sources said Microsoft will also release a beta of Silverlight, a recently unveiled browser plug-in that allows Web content providers to offer a rich video and interactive media experience from directly within Web sites. The technology leverages Vista’s new graphics framework, Windows Presentation Foundation, and Microsoft is promoting it as a direct competitor to Adobe’s Flash tool and delivery mechanism for rich multimedia content on the Web.

Specifics on which aspect of Silverlight will be open sourced were not available, and Microsoft’s public relations firm declined to comment Friday.

The final version of Microsoft’s Expression toolset for building RIAs (rich Internet applications) also may make an appearance at MIX 07, according to sources, though Microsoft has two more months to work on the tool according to its schedule. The company has said Expression, another product it hopes will woo RIA designers away from Adobe, will be available before the end of June.

Microsoft is pitting Expression as an alternative to Adobe’s recently released Creative Suite 3, and the toolset is also key to Silverlight because the company hopes designers will use it to create applications to be delivered through Silverlight.

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microsoft, silverlight, open source, mix07

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