Silverlight 2 (beta1): New Installation Experience

Did you know that the experience for installing Silverlight has been changed? Before start talking about new experience, let me summarize a lit bit about old installation experience firstly.

There were two installation modes such as indirect installation and inplace installation (direct installation) in earlier versions of Silverlight.

Old Installation Experience: Indirect Installation

If you are using indirect installation experience in your site, the image “Get Microsoft Silverlight” will be displayed for those who doesn’t install Silverlight in their machines. If the user clicks on the image, it will be redirected to this link to download the Silverlight installer. The user need to download and install it manually.

This approach is not so convinced for users since he/she will need to navigate back to the page

Old Installation Experience: Inplace Installation (a.k.a: Direct)

This is another way of installing Silverlight. It’s also called “inplace” or “direct” installation. To enable this feature, you have to inplaceInstallPrompt:true in createSilverlight() function. Then, the image above will be shown to the users who don’t have Silverlight installed. If the user clicks on that image, Silverlight.exe (installer) will be launched directly. In my opinion, it’s more convinced for users since it’s not required to navigate back to the original page.

The important thing to note here is that both approaches don’t require a browser restart if the user never had Silverlight installed before. Otherwise, the browser restart will be required.

Silverlight 2: New Installation Experience

In Silverlight 2 beta1, we will have the direct-installation experience only but the image has been changed as above. (“small and easy to understand” image) After installation, the user only need to refresh the browser to view the Silverlight content. OR you can call createSilverlight() again to get instantiation without refresh. (but we won’t call that function again since we won’t have any idea when the installation will be completed.)

I have tested this new experience in my friend’s laptop. I opened HardRock cafe website in his machine. The following was displayed since he never had Silverlight installed in his laptop.

Silverlight Rock

So, I clicked on the image and installed Silverlight on his machine. After that, I just refreshed the browser then HardRock website became alive as expected. Cool!

but one interesting thing happened. You should disable the Internet Download Manager if you want to surf that site. My friend has “Internet Download Manager” installed in his machine so when I opened that site on browser, “Internet Download Manager” asked me whether I want to download the unknown file called “items_2.bin” from HardRock site. It seems like that site was downloading something in his Isolated Storage.

Credit : Thanks to Piotr Puszkiewicz from Silverlight.

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