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Linux tablet vendor pledges Silverlight support

Mar 5, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Nokia promised to support Microsoft's cross-platform multimedia plugin across its major mobile device products. The Finnish mobile-phone giant will add Silverlight support to Symbian S60 smartphones, Series 40 devices, and Linux-based Nokia Internet tablets, it said.

(Click for larger view of a Nokia N810 web tablet)

According to Microsoft, Silverlight is used for Web-based multimedia delivery by organizations including Entertainment Tonight, the NBA, and NBC Universal. Similar in some ways to Adobe's Flash, Silverlight is built on top of VC-1, a video format developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and best-known for its use in the Windows Media Video (WMV) format.

The VC-1 specification (also known as SMPTE 421M) aims to standardize the decoder bit-stream to facilitate independent implementation of interoperable encoders and decoders. VC-1 contains Simple, Main, or Advanced profiles, which determine which codec features are available. The VC-1 Main Profile, in turn, has Low, Medium, and High levels, ranging from a low of 320 X 240 at 15Hz to a high of 1920 x 1080 at 30Hz.

Stated S. Somasegar, SVP of Microsoft's Developer Division, “Working with Nokia means we are easily able to reach a huge number of mobile users. This is a significant step in gaining broad acceptance for Silverlight and ensuring it is platform agnostic.”


The S60 version of Silverlight will be available later this year in a developer version, says Nokia, but no confirmed ship date is currently available for the Nokia Series 40 devices or Nokia Internet tablet versions. Indeed, Silverlight support for Linux still seems to be in the early stages, at least for the Mono Project's implementation. Sponsored by Novell, Mono is an open-source development platform that aims to be compatible with Microsoft's .NET framework, enabling developers to build Linux and cross-platform applications.

More information on Silverlight is available at Microsoft's Silverlight site.

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