Why Do I Need Microsoft Silverlight?

by Andrew Aarons

All video content on the Internet requires software to play it. For the most part, sites use Flash to stream video; this is how YouTube works, for example. Other sites use Microsoft's video streaming plugin called Silverlight. To be able to use some of the multimedia content on the Internet, you'll need to install Silverlight on your computer.

Why Silverlight?

If your computer plays videos on YouTube without any problems, and if you never want to watch videos on any other website, you probably don't need Silverlight. However, some major streaming companies, like Netflix, use Silverlight as the backbone of their service. To watch Netflix on a computer, then, you need Silverlight. As of August 2013, Microsoft hasn't yet announced Silverlight 6, which has companies like Netflix looking toward a new solution for streaming in the future. In the meantime, however, Silverlight still powers Netflix and many smaller streaming video sites.

About the Author

Living in Canada, Andrew Aarons has been writing professionally since 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ottawa, where he served as a writer and editor for the university newspaper. Aarons is also a certified computer-support technician.

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