Silverlight To Gain Support for Opera Browser

When Microsoft unveiled Silverlight at the MIX07 conference in Las Vegas last week, the new cross-platform browser plug-in for rich media content lacked support for the popular Opera Web browser. Instead, Redmond announced that Silverlight would support Internet Explorer, Firefox and the Mac-compatible Safari Web browser.

Developer Division General Manager Scott Guthrie, in his first blog post since the MIX conference, takes a look inside Silverlight's technological underpinnings, but fails to mention Opera.

Now it appears that Opera is in Silverlight's sights. A new Silverlight developer reference graphic, seen here, displays an Opera icon -- adorned with the tag "soon" -- alongside the already-supported browsers (you can see it in the lower right-hand corner of the graphic).

David Storey, Opera's "chief Web opener," wrote about the Silverlight-Opera connection on his blog. While revealing few details about the planned support, Storey weighed in with his take on Silverlight's impact on rich Web development.

"As Silverlight runs in a browser, it is very important that Opera supports it. We must be compatible with the Web sites out there that will use this technology. I also think that it is important that Adobe have strong competition, so that it doesn't run away with a monopoly on rich media interfaces on the Web, tying everyone to their own technologies and products," Storey wrote.

While a Linux version of Opera has long been available, Microsoft has announced no plans to add Linux support to Silverlight.

Storey indicated that this hasn't stopped Opera and Microsoft from working together and for quite some time: "We've been discussing this with Microsoft and [Microsoft evangelist] Tim Sneath since it was still called [Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere]. I hoped to be at MIX to announce Opera support, but unfortunately it came a bit too soon."

He also noted that work is also ongoing to fix certain difficulties Opera has with ASP.NET AJAX.

While Opera -- developed by Norway-based Opera Software -- trails far behind other browsers in terms of desktop computer usage, the company has had success tapping the mobile phone and device market. It also has ties to the gaming world, having created a browser for Nintendo's popular Wii console.

About the Author

Chris Kanaracus is the news editor for Redmond Developer News.