Silverlight 5 Improves Experience for Application Developers, ISVs

firestarter-bannerThe next version of Silverlight will target numerous improvements for application developers and in media improvements.

Scott Guthrie announced the next version of Silverlight at the keynote to the Firestarter Event in Redmond, WA. The entire day’s events were also streamed on the Internet.

If you weren’t able to attend live or online real-time, we have recorded the sessions which will be available later this week on Channel 9. For the details, see Announcing Silverlight 5.

Silverlight 5 will be available for CTP this coming spring and release during CY 2011.

Application Developer Improvements

Silverlight 5 adds significant new features and capabilities, and enables developers to create premium media experiences and deliver rich applications across browsers, desktops and devices. 

Silverlight 5 delivers significant improvements for application development including:

  • Databinding and MVVM. Developers can now debug data-binding expressions, set breakpoints on bindings, and more easily determine errors.  Implicit DataTemplates allow templates to be created across an application to support a particular type by default.  And more.
  • WCF and RIA Services: Silverlight 5 now includes WS-Trust support.  WCF RIA Services improvements include complex type support, better MVVM support, and improved customization of code generation.  Silverlight 5’s networking stack also supports low-latency network scenarios that enable more responsive application scenarios.
  • Text and Printing: Silverlight 5 delivers improved text clarity that enables crisper and cleaner text rendering, multi-column text flow and linked text containers, character and leading support, and full OpenType font support. 
  • Graphics: Silverlight 5 includes immediate mode graphics support that enables developers to take full advantage of the GPU (graphics processing unit) and enables accelerated 3-D graphics support.
  • Out of Browser: Out of browser applications can now create and manage child windows.  Trusted out of browser applications can call unmanaged libraries and Win32 APIs.  Enhanced group policy support enables enterprises to both lock down and open up security sandbox capabilities of Silverlight 5 applications.
  • Testing Tools: We are adding automated UI testing support for Silverlight applications with Visual Studio 2010.
  • Performance: Silverlight 5 support faster application startup, and provides 64-bit browser support.  Silverlight 5 also integrates with the new Hardware Acceleration capabilities of IE9, and enables hardware acceleration in windowsless mode.
  • For fans of Pivot, it will be part of Silverlight 5.

Media Improvements

Silverlight 5 will enable media experiences to go even further by adding:

  • Hardware video decode: Even low powered Netbooks will be able to play back 1080p HD content
  • Trickplay: Silverlight 5 now enables variable speed playback of media content on the client with automatic audio pitch correction.
  • Improved power awareness will prevent screensavers from kicking in.
  • Remote-control support is now built-into Silverlight 5.

About Firestarter

The day-long event includes developer training by the product team and national software influencers. Speakers included Scott Guthrie, Jessie Liberty, Pete Brown, John Papa, Tim Heuer, Jaime Rodriguez, and others.

About Silverlight

Silverlight is a powerful development platform for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web, desktop, and mobile applications when online or offline.

Follow the latest announcement and get hundreds of developer tips on Silverlight TV.


Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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