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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Releases Silverlight 2 Beta 2 at TechEd 2008

Microsoft Releases Silverlight 2 Beta 2 at TechEd 2008

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During his keynote at TechEd for Developers 2008 in Orlando, FL this week, Bill Gates announced the release of Silverlight 2 Beta 2.

Mr. Gates referred to the release as:

Availability this week of Silverlight 2 beta 2, the latest version of Microsoft’s cross-browser, cross-platform and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Now available with a commercial Go Live license, Silverlight 2 beta 2 will be used to power the unprecedented online experience NBC Universal is creating for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To help developers take full advantage of Silverlight, Microsoft also released Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview and Microsoft Silverlight Tools beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008.

One of the key aspects of this announcement for developers is the announcement of the "Go Live" license that allows creation of Silverlight applications.   Details of what is new in this release includes:

  • UI Framework: Beta 2 includes improvements in animation support, error handling and reporting, automation and accessibility support, keyboard input support, and general performance. This release also provides more compatibility between Silverlight and WPF.
  • Rich Controls: Beta 2 includes a new templating model called Visual State Manager that allows for easier templating for controls. Other features include the introduction of TabControl, text wrapping and scrollbars for TextBox, and for DataGrid additions include Autosize, Reorder, Sort, performance increases and more. Most controls are now in the runtime instead of packaged with the application.Networking Support: Beta 2 includes improved Cross Domain support and security enhancements, upload support for WebClient, and duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client).
  • Rich Base Class Library: Beta 2 includes improved threading abilities, LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support, better support for SOAP, and various other improvements to make networking and data handling easier.
  • Deep Zoom: Beta 2 introduces a new XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom. Better, event driven notification for zoom/pan state is another improvement in Silverlight 2 Beta 2

The Silverlight 2 Beta 2 can be found on the Microsoft download site.  Documentation for this beta is also available for download.  Additional information can be found on the Silverlight web site.

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