Version 3 of Microsoft’s video player is out and included a host of new functionality including H.264  and High-Definition video. The multimedia software is available for Mac OS X (Intel-based Macs), Linux and of course, Windows.
The new version has been redesigned with performance and hardware acceleration in mind. It will also run on desktops and supports H.264, AAC, high-definition video (720p) and both live and On-Demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming.

It’s also got some visual goodies for developers including new 3Dgraphics, animations and hardware accelerated effects to give more control over the look and feel of it when embedded.

Other technical improvements and features include, the ability to apply content to a 3D plane, more pixel shader effects, bitmap caching along with a new bitmap API, themed application support. Plus enhanced control skinning for branding purposes.

Included now are 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls such as charting and media, new layout containers such as dock and viewbox, and controls such as autocomplete, treeview and datagrid. For those who use their multimedia for more than just showing off they also included deep linking with RIA, SEO optimization and more

No longer is Silverlight tied just to the browser. Now it’s fully desktop stand-alone. No extra downloads or installations. Computers don’t even need to be online anymore to utilize the software.

Other features for developers include an updated designer-developer workflow, Photoshop and Illustrator import, new behaviors for better interactivity, and enhanced data support.