Seamless Experiences on the Device
Aug. 09, 2010
Silverlight for Windows Embedded enables device manufacturers to create rich, advanced user interfaces outside of the browser.

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 9, 2010 — While most people are familiar with Microsoft Silverlight — a powerful development platform for creating rich media applications and business applications for the Web, desktop, and mobile devices — some might not be aware of Silverlight for Windows Embedded.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded is an out-of-browser, native code implementation of Microsoft Silverlight used to create rich, immersive user interfaces (UIs) on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3- and Windows Embedded Compact 7-based devices.

As specialized devices such as media players, factory automation controls and medical devices become more predominant, the need for compelling, intuitive UIs is becoming more and more critical. The rich, efficient experience that users expect can now be delivered on devices.

We sat down with Paul Monson, software developer on the Windows Embedded team, to talk about Silverlight for Windows Embedded and how it enables developers and designers to create exciting and visually compelling UIs for embedded devices.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded gives developers and designers a seamless experience between the browser and the device.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded gives developers and designers a seamless experience between the browser and the device.
Image: Page

Silverlight for Windows Embedded enables a new working relationship between designer and developer, dramatically improving the user interfaces on devices and the time and cost needed to deliver a differentiated experience. Leveraging familiar tools such as Expression Blend, designers can quickly and easily design rich, compelling UIs for embedded devices on the Windows Embedded CE platform. At the same time, developers implement the code behind with Visual Studio and Platform Builder, optimizing performance on embedded devices and delivering impressive graphics with a high frame rate.

Monson emphasized the faster time to market enabled by Silverlight for Windows Embedded. By breaking out design work from the developer process, and leveraging familiar development tools such as Expression Blend 2.0, designers can now work in parallel with developers without creating extra code to merge their work on the back end. It also provides device manufacturers with access to the broad ecosystem of Microsoft partners participating in the Silverlight Partner Initiative for better support.

In the past, a designer was only involved at the very beginning of an embedded OS development, delivering a static document such as a screenshot to the developer. The developer then was responsible for translating that screenshot into code for the embedded application, and the likelihood that the designer’s vision would translate perfectly to the end device was fairly low. Now, with Silverlight for Windows Embedded, delivering a designer’s vision onto an embedded device has become a reality.

Monson also works with the Windows Embedded Silverlight Tools, which makes setting up a C++ project easier, allowing a developer to take a Blend 3 project and create a C++ project in Visual Studio with many of the required initialization functions and event handlers automatically translated through a wizard.

Are you a developer working on Silverlight applications for Windows Embedded? If so, we want to hear from you. Send your feedback to @MSFTWEB on Twitter to let us know your experiences.

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