Silverlight to be Olympic event

The 2008 Olympic Games’ website is to be built using Silverlight. The announcement was made by Bill Gates as he presented the keynote speech at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently underway in Las Vegas. Gates said that Microsoft and NBC have formed an exclusive partnership to show over 3000 hours of Olympic games video highlights online using the Redmond’s Flash rival. The site, is to become the biggest Silverlight-based website to date.

In his speech, his final CES keynote as company chairman, Gates also talked up service-based software Windows Live as well as the Windows Zune portable player. Additionally, he discussed the role of the Xbox 360 as a set top box; ABC, Disney and MGM will be providing content to will be providing content to Xbox Live, Gates said, and a deal with UK telco British Telecom is to enable Xbox 360 owners to use their consoles as set-top boxes via Microsoft’s IPTV service, Media Room. Predictably, Gates also used the opportunity to showcase Windows Surface, the company’s touch-based interface technology.

Central to his keynote was the concept of “the second digital decade”. Gates said: “The second digital decade will be more focused on connecting people. It will be more focused on being user-centric. Microsoft will deliver platforms that will let people build applications. Those applications will run not only on the PC, they'll run up in the Internet, or in the cloud, as we say, on the phone, in the car, in the TV. The applications will use the best of rich platforms and those Internet services.”

In separate news, those who wish to get to grips with Microsoft’s new rich media application can now download sessions from the recently held Silverlight Fire Starter sessions. Topics include an introduction, Workflow and XAML. Download from Mix University .