Microsoft has announced the release of the third edition of its rich-media platform, an attempted "Flash killer", Silverlight. It went into beta earlier this year, and now it's rolling out as a full release.

Microsoft says that the new version brings improved quality streaming, which "compares to watching video on television". If you've got decent bandwidth you'll get HD playback, but if you're suffering a slow connection then it should still be able to stream in lower quality smoothly.

There's also a shedload of new DRM for monitoring and protecting content, a "deep zoom" function, more powerful 3D, and the ability to build Silverlight apps that exist outside the browser, on your desktop. The feature set doesn't completely eclipse Flash, but it certainly rivals it.