Monday, December 20, 2010

Silverlight 5: Microsoft’s answer on the Silverlight is dead discussion

The last few weeks, there was a lot of buzz around the future of Silverlight. Although there were some official comments, the rumors kept going. For the remaining skeptics,  what can be a better answer than the announcement of Silverlight 5.

A t the Silverlight FireStarter event Microsoft announced the timeline for Silverlight 5 in 2011.  Silverlight 5 was the main subject of  Scott Guthrie’s keynote where Microsoft demoed many of the coming new features and capabilities.  Silverlight 5 will be in beta the first half of 2011 and ship early in the second half of 2011.

Some of the impressive improvements(note especially XAML debugging):

Silverlight 5 Media improvements:

  • Hardware Decode & Presentation of H.264 performance improvements using GPU support
  • Trickplay with fast-forward and rewind support w/normal audio pitch
  • Improved power awareness
  • Remote-control support
  • Digital Rights Management advancements

Application Development improvements:

  • Smoother UI experiences with smoother animation
  • Text improvements
    • Multi-column text & linked container text
    • Text clarity improved
    • OpenType support enhanced
  • Support for Postscript vector printing
  • Added support for double-click and combobox
  • MVVM and Databinding enhancements
  • Networking and WCF enhancements
    • Reduced network latency using a background thread
    • WS-Trust support
  • Performance Improvements
    • XAML parser improvements
    • Support for 64-bit OSes
  • Graphics Improvements
    • GPU API
    • Direct rendering on GPU
    • Hardware acceleration on Internet Explorer 9
  • New class of trusted applications
    • Host HTML content as a browser control
    • Read/Write to users My Documents folder
    • Launch Microsoft Office and other programs
    • Ability to call into application COM components gaining access to system capabilities and devices
    • Full keyboard support in full screen
    • Call unmanaged code with PInvoke
  • Out-of-browser trusted applications enhancements
    • Call unmanaged code with PInvoke
    • Child Windows support
  • Tool improvements
    • Visual Studio profiling support for CPU, memory, thread contention
    • Visual Studio Team Test support

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