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Microsoft Silverlight May Be Coming to Xbox

Monday CNET pointed out two job listings provided by Microsoft, both seeking a new Silverlight engineer to bring the technology to "shipping" and future Microsoft devices. However what raised the proverbial red flag is that the two new jobs also referenced to Xbox, indicating that Microsoft's Flash rival is heading to the popular console, whether it's on the current Xbox 360 or the next-generation model.

But now the job descriptions have changed. After CNET's initial report, the listing was altered from "Silverlight on the Xbox as part of the next wave" to "various devices we plan to enable over the coming years." TechTrends copied the descriptions word for word before they were altered by the company, backing up CNET's report.

"Silverlight is looking to hire motivated developers with a passion for creating ground breaking multi-screen platform experiences now targeting the XBOX," one job listing previous said.

Silverlight on the Xbox is really a no-brainer, allowing cross-platform development covering the console, Windows Phone 7 and the PC. This could re-shape how Microsoft currently offers services on the console such as Twitter, Facebook, Netflix and more, perhaps even allow additional 3rd-party applications to better position itself against Apple TV and Google TV.

But Silverlight on the Xbox could also mean that the console will finally receive a Web browser for surfing the Internet. As it stands now, Xbox 360 owners using Facebook and Twitter on the console can't follow posted links because there's no software installed to handle URLs. Netflix could even receive a significant boost in performance from native Xbox Silverlight support, as the streaming portion of the service uses Silverlight instead of Flash.

At one time Microsoft stated that it wanted the Xbox brand to be the multimedia center in the living room, combining movies, music, gaming and Internet features in one convenient box. Silverlight may finally complete that vision while opening up a wide platform across multiple Microsoft devices.