Silverlight 3 Beta, Expression Blend 3 Preview Unveils Desktop Experience for Users

Scott Guthrie announced the first beta of Silverlight 3 and Expression Blend 3 Preview in his keynote at MIX09. 

Silverlight 3 Beta

This continues Silverlight’s track record of rapid innovation by introducing more than 50 new features and benefits, including support for running Silverlight applications out of the browser, dramatic video quality and performance enhancements and developer productivity improvements. 

Desktop Experience. The most significant leap forward is the Silverlight out of browser experience, which will take the rich Internet application (RIA) concept onto any PC or Mac desktop (or Start Menu or Application Folder) without an additional runtime, download or browser plug-in.  By enabling Silverlight Desktop applications to display in the Windows Start Menu, Silverlight 3 takes big strides towards integrating the desktop and the web in rich and secure ways.  For more information, see the Silverlight developer site.

The following is a list of key additonal features for Silverlight 3:

  • Support for Higher Quality Video & Audio. With support for native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline, Silverlight 3 brings rich, full-screen, stutter-free media experiences to the desktop.

  • Empowering Richer Experiences. Silverlight 3 contains new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements that enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.

  • Improving Rich Internet Application Productivity. Silverlight 3 includes more than 60 new controls with source code. Silverlight 3 Beta includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA.  Silverlight 3 enables users to solve the Search Engine Optimization-related challenges posed by RIAs. Also enhanced data support, improved performance,

For more information about Silverlight 3 Beta, see Silverlight 3 Fact Sheet.

Expression Blend 3

In addition, Guthrie announced the Expression Blend 3 Preview.  Visual Studio and Silverlight toolkit combine for the most comprehensive end-to-end tooling development experience available.  You can take projects from initial conceptual ideas to interactive prototypes, through to client delivery of the completed project. 

Expression Blend 3 innovations include:

  • SketchFlow, a rapid prototyping capability that makes it easy to communicate design intent to stakeholders; design time sample data that enables the design and testing of applications without access to live data.

  • Direct import of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files

  • Behaviors, extensible and reusable components that add interactivity to applications without writing code

  • A full code editor supporting C#, VB and XAML

  • And many more features that support an improved design and development experience.

For more information, see Expression Blend.

To see the keynotes and sessions, visit MIX09.

Comments (1)

  1. jasondel says:

    Great post, Bruce.  I wanted to point out that Shawn Wildermuth has a very simple example of writing an out of browser for SL3 (  

    You need to install the SL3 tools for VS 2008 SP1 here:


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