One of the first applications of Silverlight, the new plug-in multimedia program from Microsoft, will be a "software plus Web services" platform called Popfly.  It allows consumers to create multimedia mash-ups without needing to know code.   Users integrate a thin desktop application with various Microsoft web services and other sources including Flickr, Digg, MySpace, Facebook and many others.  Looks pretty easy.

There’s a need for these tools.  The New York Times recently published a story on how companies including Microsoft, IBM and Yahoo! are rolling out consumer friendly mash-up programs.

Beet.TV was at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington last month where we interviewed Dan Fernandez who is the lead product manger of "the non-professional tools" group at Microsoft.

Dan gives us a cool demo by putting Flickr photos into a multi-media presentation. Popfly is still in Alpha, by invitation only.  So, we’re pleased to share this little preview with you.

We’ll be reporting more over the days and weeks about the progress of the Silverlight introduction. Here’s an update on the roll-out of Silverlight by Ryan Stewart on ZDNet

Grab the code of this interview.

Update: 9/24 — Marshall Kirkpatrick of at Read/Write Web reports that Yahoo! has a surging business with its mash-up tools.

— Andy Plesser