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Silverlight 5 Timeline And Lots of Questions

by James Vastbinder on Dec 03, 2010 |

Yesterday Microsoft announced the timeline for Silverlight 5 in 2011 at the Silverlight FireStarter event.  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. 

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

Questions, Lots of Questions

The announcement was posted to Scott Guthrie’s blog and announced simultaneously on the main Microsoft web site.  Developers quickly began posting impressions and questions, many many questions.

Christof Jans asked: “Will immediate mode graphics and hardware 3D features be cross-platform?”

Another developer, Bruno asked for a high precision timer to be included in release 5.0.  While Dan Devine lamented the 6 month wait for the release version.  Many developers were asking for Windows Phone 7 support and even further, cross-platform support down to the device level, most notably for Android.

Steven DeRoo fired several questions which were on more minds than his own:

“Will Silverlight have to conquer HMTL5? …. Which other OS will be supported? ….  Will Silverlight be the next ActiveX? ….  Should companies consider Silverlight …. in favor of HTML5?”

Hopefully as more information is released and the beta is released to the public, many of the questions will become answered.  The Silverlight 5 beta will be available sometime early in 2011 and more information will soon be available at the Microsoft Silverlight site.

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ET by Eugene Tolmachev

COM and PInvoke? There goes the cross-platform promise...

Re: ET by Jonathan Allen

You can still choose to write cross-platform code.

Re: ET by Mark Shaw

I have yet to need to run my sl apps on mac here in the big scary enterprise.

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