by Peter Galli on April 15, 2010 05:29pm

Silverlight 4 was released to the Web today. Developers can use Silverlight 4 to create great applications and rich, compelling user experiences, both on and off the Web.

The release-to-the-Web edition can be downloaded here at no cost.

Some 90% of the most commonly requested features were incorporated into Silverlight 4, which is currently installed on almost 60% of all internet devices and more than half of US broadband PCs, Scott Guthrie, a Corporate Vice President in Microsoft's Developer Division, said earlier this year.

A number of customers, including Snapflow, Seesmic and H&R Block, as well as numerous Microsoft properties such as Xbox, Bing and MSN, are all already using Silverlight to create compelling user experiences.

Silverlight 4 also extends beyond the browser, and brings improved out-of-browser capabilities, enabling new experiences that reach deeper into the desktop without additional code or runtimes required.

Webcam and microphone with local recording capability opens new possibilities for innovative interactive media experiences, while native multicast support enables efficient enterprise-wide training and internal communications behind the firewall.

Full support for Silverlight in Visual Studio 2010 gives enterprise developers a tried and trusted development environment and languages that scales for mission-critical enterprise scenarios, while integration with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint bring the benefits of Silverlight interactivity to a broad enterprise install base, Guthrie said.

Enhanced printing, networking, databinding, reporting and charting capabilities satisfy common business needs, while Silverlight has a growing library of over 60 customizable controls to create rich, interactive applications to rapidly build attractive, functional business applications.

Microsoft also has extended support for Google's Chrome browser with Silverlight 4.

Microsoft is also working with the open source community to ensure that Silverlight content is available to them. Earlier this year, Moonlight 2.0 was released. Moonlight is an open source project that gives Linux users access to Microsoft Silverlight content, and is available for all major Linux distributions, including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat, and Ubuntu.