A Microsoft official cited on Tuesday improvements planned for the company's Silverlight platform for rich Internet applications, including intentions to run Silverlight applications outside of a browser.

This intention was among a list of various software development improvements eyed for Microsoft technologies, all mentioned during a presentation at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles. The company also revealed tools geared for cloud services and parallel computing.

Microsoft's Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the company's developer division, said a "major" release of Silverlight planned for next year includes runtime features, much richer graphics, and data support, he said. More media capabilities are planned as well.

Guthrie also said attendees would learn how to run Silverlight inside and outside a browser. This would put Microsoft into the Adobe camp, which enables Internet applications to run outside the browser via Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime).

Also, the planned Visual Studio 2010 development platform will build further on Silverlight, featuring a fully interactive Silverlight designer.

Microsoft, Guthrie said, is shipping a toolkit for Silverlight 2 with such capabilities as charting controls.