Silverlight Feature Requests

Currently, there is not a general location to log Silverlight feature requests (we’re considering adding something on for this).  Given the lack of a central spot, I’ve taken a few threads on the Silverlight forums related to a Silverlight wish list as well as some comments from ScottGu’s Silverlight 2 blog post and Scott Barnes’ blog and aggregated the requests into a single list with frequency counts.  I left off things that have already been announced in Silverlight 3 but left on others that have not yet been announced.  There are numerous reasons why something will or will not appear in the next version of Silverlight including customer demand, time to implement, business need, security concerns, performance concerns, ability to implement consistently cross browser and cross platform, etc.  Therefore, items at the top of the list below won’t necessarily appear in the next version of Silverlight – however, it’s likely we’re engaged in solving those problems in one way or another.  Net result is the Silverlight product team does look at these requests and they do have some impact on shaping future Silverlight platforms.


Feel free to continue to make requests and I’ll try and update the counts every month or so.  One thing that would help for requests is some insight into the scenario for the request (if it’s not obvious).  For example, if you need UDP, include details on your scenario for UDP (e.g. P2P game and if so, we may be able to solve that with a more targeted API).  One area to call out specifically for scenarios is requests for WPF and Silverlight compatibility.  In general, if you want a WPF feature in Silverlight, call that out as a Silverlight feature request vs. a compatibility request (e.g. want triggers in Silverlight).  If you have a need to share resources between Silverlight and WPF, call that out as compatibility and let us know what you’re doing that requires shared resources (to better help us determine how to focus our work in this area).  


Feature Count Comments
Web camera and/or microphone input 33 Includes requests for just microphone as well
Bitmap APIs 26 Support get/set pixels and/or rendering a XAML scene to a bitmap.
Full 3D 24 Full 3D support (full 3D models)
Printing 20 Printing APIs
Offline and/or out of browser support 16 Support running Silverlight when not online (or completely out of the browser)
Bi-directional text and/or complex script 9
UDP/P2P 9 UDP APIs generally for Peer to Peer support
Rich text support 8 Editing and display
Right mouse button 8 Ability to configure the right click
Text quality 8 Improved text quality
HTML Integration 7 Support HTML hosting (live HTML documents) and/or HTML translation
Interactive designer 7 Support an interactive designer in Visual Studio
Support more than BasicHttpBinding 7 Most common request is for WSHttpBinding
Improve Silverlight/WPF compatibility 6 Mostly feature requests for either Silverlight and/or WPF
More controls 6 Random/general requests
SaveFileDialog 6
Data and/or property triggers 5
Reporting services 5
Synchronous web service calls 5
ADO.NET DataSet/DataTable 4
Alpha video 4 Chroma key support
Clipboard support 4
Drawing APIs (immediate mode) 4
Element name binding 4
Improved DataGrid 4 Several different requests
Local relational database (SQL) 4
Modal dialog 4
Mouse wheel 4 API and support in existing controls
Selectable text 4
Assembly caching 3 Want a framework for downloading/managing assemblies
Credentials/auth 3 Requests for networking stack and ASP.NET type integration
Custom markup extensions 3
Multi-target DLLs for .NET/SL 3 Build a business object DLL once for both .NET and Silverlight
Multi-touch support 3
Path Animation 3
Speech and better audio decoder 3
VisualBrush 3
9 Grid 2
Better keyboard APIs 2 Platform independent keycode
Better SEO 2
Binding support to anonymous types 2
Direct database access 2 OLEDB/ODBC equivalent
Flow panel 2
GIF support 2
Global/dynamic styles (skinning) 2
Integrated CTRL+F (in page search) 2
Sound APIs (equalizer) 2 Includes looping
TileBrush (Image Tiling) 2
XPS Support 2
64-bit platform support 1
Android support 1
Better N-tier support 1 Improved data access
Better SharePoint integration 1
Block style text 1 Bulleted lists, paragraphs
Cell based animation 1
CollectionView 1
Color management 1
Digital/XAP signing 1
Double Click event 1
Drag and Drop 1 Between the desktop and Silverlight
Full 5.1 sound 1 Currently fold down to stereo
IDataErrorInfo 1
Inverse kinematics (bones) 1 Flash 10 feature
MediaTimeline 1
Multi-binding 1
Navigation model 1 Includes browser history integration
Validation controls 1
XPATH support for data binding 1

Comments (35)

  1. samcov says:


    I’m glad someone decided to do this… Thanks.

  2. joewood says:

    I would add a couple of things that I’m hoping make it into WPF and Silverlight in the near future.

    On the 3D front, I would like to see more than the basic DX/XNA like API.  I would like to see support for Patch based models so that 3D GUIs become more virtual and scale better.

    I would also like to see some good 3D Layout Panels, and support for those panels in ItemsControl (maybe an ItemsPanel3DTemplate property).  Silverlight should support hardware accel if the support is there.  3D should become an integrated part of the UI.

    On the non-GUI stuff I would like to see better support for threading and MVVM.  Maybe something like INotifyXXX supported LINQ queries that would provide a thread safe alternative to the CollectionView class.  The I/O model in Silverlight forces the use of worker threads (which is a good thing) – but the support isn’t there to build good, thread safe, observable collections and ‘live’ in model queries.

    Silverlight also needs real support for markup extensions and better databinding  support to better address the incompatibilities with WPF.  Key driver here is cost in maintaining the differences.

    I would also love to see a browser implementation (Trident engine rewrite) as a object model translation from HTML to XAML, JavaScript to .NET.  This active translation layer would allow full, same level interop between the SL/.NET world and a hosted or hosting HTML document.  The scenario here is cost – the HTML investment/skills and resources would become part of the XAML implementation.

  3.   Joe Stegman, group program manager из команды Silverlight, достаточно известен пониманием ситуации

  4. Garreth says:

    "Clipboard support"

    The only available solution to copy some text to clipboard now, is to use flash..

    And that pissing off sometimes, it make perfect application looks some-like ugly.

  5. wonderu says:

    Need support:

    – IO disk operations (for signed assembles)

    – Asymmetric Cryptography (access to RSA and non-RSA cryptoproviders)

  6. grebenshikov.n says:

    I think a rich text editor (probably with HTML support) is one of the most needed features.

  7. Volj says:

    My requests are:

    – Bitmap APIs

    – Printing

    – Clipboard support

    – MultiHandleSlider (like ASP.NET AJAX)

  8. mgcain says:

    I would like to see support for the workflowruntime to run WF workflows or at a minimum support for the rule engine.  Our apps typically have complex validations field to field that would benefit from having xaml-based rules to run on the client as opposed to going back to the server every time.  

  9. Joe Stegman, group program manager из команды Silverlight, достаточно известен пониманием ситуации внутри

  10. escnetdev says:

    Need support:

    WSHttpBinding – Session support


    DataGrid – virual mode like WPF – EnableRowVirtualization="True" AND ScrollViewer.IsDeferredScrollingEnabled="True"

    FlowDocument (Rich text support)

  11. andrei.faber says:

    A bit unusual request

    Could you make public Silverlight’s CLR hosting api?

  12. oribolzi says:

    keyboard support in full-screen mode

  13. Kevin Dente says:

    Please add support for TIFF (bi-tonal and color) images to your list. There’s a LOT of scanned business documents that live in TIFF format out there.

  14. KyleL says:

    Two features

    1) Bitmap APIs — both bitmap manipulation and caching.  these are commonly used in flash, and could help make silverlight much prettier.  there are obvious reasons silverlight might not want to do this, but the benifits are great.

    2) Binding support to anonymous types — do I need to say anything more?  every silverlight developer would find this useful.


    As a note I would like to add Ctrl+F support would be nice, but with some fancy javascript handling (mouse down & text select) it can already be supported manually.

  15. chris69us says:

    I vote for:

    Better text quality, so that it feels more like a normal web page

    Selectable textblock, and copy to clipboard

    Better right click integration (copy, paste, open in new tab, custom hooks, etc)

    Back/Forward integration (XBAP’s model is good) – the web is broken without a back button right?

    Deep linking support, and ties into back/forward integration

    In summary I’d like silverlight to handle the back to basics functionality better.  You may say you have html/css etc for that, but I think there are a ton of developers out there that stay away from that and prefer a much better and simpler layout model.  If silverlight can solve these basic points, I think that will boost its market share a lot more than the advanced stuff (3D etc).  

    So back to basics for me – I think the web would be a better place if everything was in silverlight, including basic text sites.  I think from a web design point of view, I find expression blend far more intuitive than expression web.  The only real negative to this is for search engines not picking it up. I really hope that changes soon, even for basic static sites.

  16. VasilioRuzanni says:

    Some "small" points:

    1. It would be really nice to see the option to control anti-aliasing, especially one of the fonts.

    2. As well in my opinion there must be nice-skinned controls out-of-the-box instead of those cartoon-likely with big too-antialiased borders.

    3. Surely, for the best UX I’d like to see the native bitmap effects like glows and shadows.

    One "BIG" point.

    It will be just GREAT if Silverlight will be able to be deployed on desktop like with Adobe AIR and Google Gears (which in the same time should give some advantages like filesystem integration and cross-app drag-n-drop). This is exactly the THING we were looking at before starting some projects. While Adobe AIR installs in just "two clicks" (as well as AIR apps) and can "play" the same apps written for the in-browser Flash Player, the only deployment scenario for Silverlight is inside browser and if you want something alike desktop integration then there is need to install full .NET 3.5 (which is not that fast and simple as AIR install), then recompile the app as the WPF app and only then install.

    The main idea is to have some lightweight runtime like Adobe AIR from the MS itself instead of using third-party burden like "Desklighter". Integrate it with some HTML engine like Adobe did and this will make many new advanced deployment scenarios available.

  17. gulrog says:

    I vote for:

    1. Mouse wheel, API and support in existing controls

    2. Selectable text

    3. Binding support to anonymous types

    4. Faster DataGrid. It is rendering to slow.

    5. Bether text quality

    6. VS Interactive designer.

    Please fix the small details before adding advanced features like 3D.

  18. Allan Muller says:

    I have made a post on my blog to help people identify any area’s that they feel need adding in Silverlight. I think the idea to have a ‘central’ list is a great idea.


  19. FKruesch says:

    The Text features are all absolutly essential.

    Selectable text of course is the most critical, rich text formatting is also very much necessary. Multi column layout/text continuation would be desireable, too.

    There’s a lot of reading going on on the web aside from the Times Reader 😉



  20. In this issue: Jim Lynn, Silverlight Girl, Microsoft Natal, Damon Payne, Lutz Gerhard, Tamir Khason,

  21. SharpGIS says:

    I would personally like to see some way better support for binding expressions, like the ones that are used in WPF. The Silverlight bindings are often forcing me to hardcore way to much or to complicate things beyond what should be necessary, compared to WPF.

    My #1 priority is WPF/Silverlight compatibility. Unfortunately you already made some differences that are so basic that it would be a breaking change to make either WPF or Silverlight in line with each other.

    Another important thing is the exceptions you throw. They are way too vague to be of any use. I often find myself reproducing the problem in WPF, just to get a more accurate exception that will tell me where the problem is.

  22. SharpGIS says:

    Right click and native Mouse wheel support ! PLEASE!!! (and don’t hide behind that security excuse again. I know several ppl on the silverlight dev team who thinks this is totally possible in a secure manner)

  23. SharpGIS says:

    Compilation optimizer! I would like to be able to strip out anything in the referenced assemblies that are not used by the application, so the download can be as small as possible.

  24. SharpGIS says:

    Binding to DependencyObjects like in WPF MUST be supported. The limitation is currently only allowing us to do it on FrameworkElements, which makes absolutely no sense. You can’t for instance bind the rotation angle on a RotateTransform. Grrr

  25. djprod says:

    Media Element Playback Rate or Speed.

    To change Speed of audio playback – Equivilent of "Player.Settings.rate" for windows media player or "Speed" in WPF. My projects are crippled without this feature.

  26. BrEnO_LEWROY says:

    Thank you for this post.


  27. diosloco says:

    Selectable text is a very important feature to the project I am working on. I need to be able to select text from an uneditable source and then be able to capture and use the highlighted text.

    I prototyped the project in WPF with RichTextBox, but it isn’t part of Silverlight. There may be other aspects of RichTextBox that I need as well.

    So my requests are selectable text and RichTextBox.


  28. Tjipke says:

    I am not sure if this is a thing you are looking for, but I would very much like integrated unit testing of SL in VS (like the current MSTest works, using key shortcuts and no reason to leave VS) and in msbuild (so the build server can also do the unittests)

    I know and use the current unit testing framework, but I don’t like that it opens a browser for unittests and isn’t integrated in VS and I can’t run the tests on the buildserver.

    I also realize that a first version probably only will/can work with class libraries and non-visual stuff, but that would be a very nice first step!

    Thanks for taking time to read this.

  29. benryves says:

    I’d find dynamic sound output very useful.

    Writing out sound samples (waveform audio) is possibly the best overall solution, but may be awkward to implement. (Flash 10 added some support for this).

    MIDI output at least would be usable and should be very easy to implement; one method to open a MIDI device, one method to write MIDI commands to the device and another to close the device, a handful of lines of P/Invoke code under Windows.

    Data binding to indexers is a frustrating omission, I’m currently having to use reflection to build new types at runtime with additional properties to get around this.

    You could add another vote for dynamic bitmaps from me too. I also dislike the blurry text rendering too, but that’s more of a WPF gripe than a Silverlight gripe.


  30. Dunemaster says:

    We intend to use Silverlight for our next-generation corporate thin client. The things we need first priority:

    -Improved Grid with filtering, sorting, progrssive loading and item grouping

    -Right mouse button

    -Selectable text

    Other good things:

    -Offline and/or out of browser support


    -Synchronous web service calls

  31. Daenur says:

    I’d like to see 3D in 3rd version with Viewport2DVisual3D, like in WPF. I really need to create 3D interactive controls!

    Also I vote for more controls and more events.

  32. snortblt says:


    -Full 5.1 sound (I assume MS wants people using the XBox 360 as a media extender for SL. Netflix anyone?)

    -Dynamic assembly caching

    -Synchronous web service calls

    -Right mouse btn

    -More sophisticated WCF serialization a la .NET 3.5 SP1.

  33. conejodelmal says:

    – Localization like in with a fallback language

    – SaveFileDialog

    – Printing Support

    – Right mouse button

  34. isxaker says:

    text with format text html

    and multibinding

  35. isxaker says:

    textbox with format text html

    and multibinding