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Silverlight 5 – Full 3D Stack, Better Binding, Enhanced Trust Mode

by Roopesh Shenoy on Dec 12, 2011 |

Silverlight 5 has finally been released by Microsoft, with a lot of new features such as full 3D stack with XNA Libraries, several binding related enhancements, unrestricted File System access and more.

This release brings a lot of improvements – the official feature list enlists all of them, but a brief summary is below -

  • Improved Media Support – low latency sound, variable speed playback, audio pitch correction (upto 2x speed), better Performance, better DRM through rotating licenses (useful for LiveTV) and Application restricted Media
  • Improved Text Support – Text tracking and leading, linked Rich Text Blocks, better Text clarity, Postscript vector Printing, improved performance for block layout Engine
  • Better User Experience – PivotViewer, Multi-click support
  • Graphics Improvements – Independent Animations, XNA APIs for 3D graphics
  • Enhanced “Trusted” Mode – Multiple windows, Full-trust in-browser, Unrestricted File System Access, P/Invoke Support
  • Performance improvements in XAML parser, network latency
  • Several Binding related enhancements such as ability to use styles, binding to ancestors, Implicit Data Templates. Most of these were supported in WPF but not in Silverlight earlier.
  • Better Tooling – Breakpoints in Bindings, VS Team Test Support
  • Custom XAML Markup Extensions

Silverlight 5 continues to support IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari on Windows and Mac OS.

The release comes a full year after Silverlight 5 was first announced. A lot has happened in between - amidst the concerns about the demise of the plugin in Windows 8 Metro IE, and the need for developers to transition to WinRT there has been speculation whether this is the final major release for Silverlight. However there is no official word yet from Microsoft on this. 

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