Today at TechEd North-America, Bill Gates and Soma Somasegar made a wonderful announcement: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 will be available for customers to download later this week.
This is really good news! In fact Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is a very stable and high quality built that comes with a commercial go-live license. Therefore developers can start to deploy their mission-critical applications on this release. Just as an example, NBC will deploy a large, mission-critical rich media site, NBCOlympics.com, using Silverlight 2 Beta 2!
Here a list of the new announced features of Silverlight 2 Beta2:
· UI Framework: Beta 2 includes improvements in animation support, error handling and reporting, automation and accessibility support, keyboard input support, and general performance. This release also provides more compatibility between Silverlight and WPF.
· Rich Controls: Beta 2 includes a new templating model called Visual State Manager that allows for easier templating for controls. Other features include the introduction of TabControl, text wrapping and scrollbars for TextBox, and for DataGrid additions include Autosize, Reorder, Sort, performance increases and more. Most controls are now in the runtime instead of packaged with the application.
· Networking Support: Beta 2 includes improved Cross Domain support and security enhancements, upload support for WebClient, and duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client).
· Rich Base Class Library: Beta 2 includes improved threading abilities, LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support, better support for SOAP, and various other improvements to make networking and data handling easier.
· Deep Zoom: Beta 2 introduces a new XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom. Better, event driven notification for zoom/pan state is another improvement in Silverlight 2 Beta 2.
On the tool side, today Microsoft also released Expression Blend 2.5 2008 June Preview and Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008. It is recommended to work with these new versions in order to better work with Silverlight 2 Beta 2.
Looking ahead, Silverlight 2 is on track for RTW in the Fall of 2008 J