MS is porting a media centric portion of the .NET framework to OS X. This is Microsoft's Flash-killer. Nothing for Linux, but a Mac client is promised. Alas, the next version will be Intel only, no PPC support.
The lack of PPC support is revealing. This is a project to kill QuickTime/Windows and Flash. Once that is done Microsoft will abandon the Mac.
Since most graphic designers and (professional) webdesigners use OS X, I doubt that Silverlight will ever become a serious alternative to Adobe's Flash for them. They sure won't give up their Mac for Silverlight.
Flash is popular with designers, but is very limited in terms of building applications. The Silverlight framework has all the features of Flash, plus a full development system.
It's technically superior, but Flash is ubiquitous and shiny.
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