Sweet, I can now view netflix live video in the 64 bit version of IE.
I believe MS often has some very good free offerings. Silverlight is one example. So is MSE (Windows Defender in Win 8 DP). I also use a site from MS to track and record my BG tests (diabetic) which also allows my PMD to check my results. This site is MS Healthvault.
"There has been speculation that this could be the last version of Silverlight Microsoft ships, after redundancies on the team and questions raised over the company’s commitment to cross-browser support and developer relations. Redmond is saying it will support this build until 2021, and is still winning new customers, so there may be life in the old dog yet." - from a tech article.
"The subjugation of the populace is best accomplished by requiring the filling of forms."
Also I read in the article, the link you provided, that it is a plugin that helps developers deliver applications for the web, desktop and mobile devices. I'm definitely not a developer or anything even close, so I'm asking if I really need Silverlight which is currently installed?
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This version of Silverlight now works with the 64 bit version of IE, where in previously versions it had not.
If you don't use your IE 64 bit browser much then you probably don't need it.
Silverlight is the MS offering similar to Adobe Flash. Some sites use Flash, some use Silverlight. If you find a site that flash content does not work it may be because it was developed using Silverlight.
As Clint mentions the biggest change with this version is 64 Bit compatibility.
Silverlight is Microsoft's attempt to sucker people into using it instead of the open, recognized standard HTML5. Part of the effort to keep people locked into their proprietary software.
This is a bad thing, and people should not encourage evil by using Silverlight.
T-Bonham, I Believe you are very wrong, Period! MS's new browser (included with Win 8 DP) is very strongly compliant with HTML5 and also uses Silverlight. Silverlight is the MS version of Adobe Flash. No one is encouraging evil by using Silverlight. It is another tool developers can use to give us active content on web pages. It is probably a very good thing not everyone is as paranoid as you!
Silverlight was originally developed and presented as a multi-platform alternative to Flash. It has grown and morphed into something much more powerful when run on a Windows system. You can develop applications in Silverlight that do not require IE to run. If you follow the Microsoft development news you would've noticed that Silverlight is being strongly deemphasized for use as a web development platform. It is being talked of as a platform to develop internal business applications. Microsoft is strongly supporting web standards such as HTML5, CSS, & others in IE, particularly IE10 with Windows 8. Currently, there is much speculation but no official announcement that Silverlight 5 is the last major release.