The internet and mobile devices as we know them are powered by several key software innovations. Two of the most notable are Adobe's Flash Player, and Microsoft's Silverlight Player.
If you're a Windows Phone 7 owner, then it is Silverlight which is at the heart of the games you're likely to be playing on your device. Without Silverlight those games wouldn't run, and the majority of other content, such as Bing Maps wouldn't run either.
There is now a rumour circulating
that Microsoft plan to debut Silverlight on the Xbox 360. But what would this mean?
Logically one would assume this could give rise to Windows Phone 7 title ports to the Xbox 360. Perhaps as a new channel in the XBLA section? Weight may be added to the rumour of WP7 to Xbox 360 ports by the fact that Microsoft recently (and very quietly) announced upgrades coupled with massive cuts to their Xbox 360 development kits
. There's no new pricing model yet, but it has been promised that the costs are "significantly reduced price from its predecessor".
The speculation was fuelled by a job listing at Microsoft which dropped some major hints at the intended direction of Silverlight:
Location: United States, WA, Redmond Description captured by CNET
Job ID: 740317 29869
Product: Microsoft Silverlight
Division: Server & Tools Business
Silverlight is looking to hire motivated developers with a passion for creating ground breaking multiscreen platform experiences now targeting the XBOX.
Silverlight is a fast paced, fun and winning team that ships yearly and is making serious inroads in the marketplace. It is a cross-browser, cross-platform, developer platform that is based on XAML and already running on Windows, Mac, set-top-boxes and Windows Phones. Numerous industry partners are already using Silverlight to deliver high end and cutting edge internet and mobile experiences to millions of users, including Netflix, NBC Olympics, Seesmic, Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. Microsoft teams such as Sql reporting services, Office Communicator are already using Silverlight and many more will be in the future.
One of the unique things about our team is how closely we partner with customers to make them successful with our technology – whether it’s one of the thousands of applications developed for Windows Phone 7, social network applications such as Seesmic, or powering the largest premium internet movie service through Netflix. With our next wave of releases we are looking to increase by an order of magnitude our usage, customer base and reach.
As a developer you will be responsible for delivering features for Silverlight on the XBOX as part of the next wave.
Candidates must have 5+ years of professional development experience in C++ and a willingness to work on new operating systems and languages.
The wording has since been altered by Microsoft to remove mentions of 'Xbox' and the current version now only refers to 'various devices we plan to enable over the coming years'.
Further analysis of this situation might suggest that this is Microsoft shaping up their 'cloud gaming' strategy. One which would allow games and saves to be accessible from your phone AND your console. Something of a jump in thought process perhaps, but this would allow Microsoft to directly attack Sony's NGP (PSP2) and Apple's stranglehold on the mobile gaming market. As it stands Microsoft's mobile strategy is flimsy and liable to break down unless it matures and embeds itself into the existing Microsoft ecosystem.