New Features for Silverlight 5

 New Features for Silverlight 5

Do you know that Silverlight Firestarter event where ScottGu made a keynote where he told about the future of Silverlight. There were some demos of Silverlight by SAP and IIS Media Server 4.0 new features by Chris Knowlton who demoed how to stream webcam pic to desktop, Windows Phone 7 and iPad. There was also demo about system called day force. But let’s go to new stuff now. In this postingI will introduce you fresh news I just got about Silverlight 5 new features.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Silverlight certainly has a future at Microsoft, and the company is ready to provide guarantees of this, after the fate of the technology appeared to be in balance, after remarks from Bob Muglia, President of the Server and Tools Division at Microsoft at PDC 2010.  Since this year’s Professional Developers Conference, Muglia made sure to provide clarification indicating that although the focus with Silverlight has changed somewhat, the technology will continue to be strategic to the software giant.  Early in December 2010, the Redmond company will discuss the future of Silverlight, with one Microsoft employee believing that the first details on Silverlight 5 will be shared.  Microsoft still has to confirm this officially, but since Silverlight vNext will be provided without a doubt, and judging by the monikers users with previous releases, Silverlight 5 could very well be the successor of the current version, Silverlight 4. “On December 2nd Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of .Net Developer platform, will unveil the future of Silverlight in his keynote at the free Silverlight Firestarter event.  “The event will be streamed live from Microsoft’s Redmond HQ, kicking off a day of dedicated Silverlight content,” a member of the Silverlight team noted.  With the imminent release of Internet Explorer 9 and the strong focus on hardware acceleration, Silverlight can lose its appeal for web developers, especially considering the advantages of HTML5 applications on top of Windows for the delivery of plug-in free rich web experiences.

Still, Microsoft underlines that it not only remains committed to Silverlight, but that the technology can easily co-exist with HTML5 on the web, as well as complement it by offering experiences which HTML5 is incapable of delivering.  “The Silverlight Firestarter is a free, one-day event dedicated to Silverlight and has something for all skill levels. There are labs for those just getting started with Silverlight and sessions for those looking to enhance their existing Silverlight skills,” the Silverlight team representative added.  “If you do join us on campus you can also look forward to meeting the product team in-person, grabbing some exclusive Silverlight ‘swag’, special giveaways, and a party at the end of the day.  “If you can’t make it to Redmond to attend the event in person, watch the live stream and participate in an on-line question and answer session with the Silverlight product team during the event.”

Siverlight 5 new features

  • Video decoding using hardware resources,
  • when watching video screensaver is not coming on anymore,
  • Trickplay – playback with various speeds,
  • support for remote control devices,
  • data-binding debugging support (demo by John Papa)
  • improvements to MVVM,
  • custom mark-up extensions,
  • support for implicit data templates,
  • data-bindings in style setters.

New WCF & RIA Services features in Silverlight 5

  • WS-Trust support,
  • low-latency networking,
  • MVVM-friendly data source,
  • end-to-end support for complex types,
  • Windows Azure support.

Text and printing features

  • PivotView – support pivot views with deep zoom features (demo by Angela Wise),
  • text clarity,
  • multi-column Text Flow,
  • character tracking and leading,
  • full OpenType fonts support,
  • vector PostScript printing.

Graphics features

  • demo by Luigi & Guido Russo (it was funny one, worth to see),
  • immediate mode graphics API,
  • GPU accelerated 3D,
  • fluid layout transitions.

Out of browser features

  • demo by Dave Wolf,
  • multiple windows support,
  • support for P/Invoke,
  • enterprise group policy support.

Test & performance tools

  • demo by John Papa,
  • automated UI testing,
  • improved profiling support (memory, cpu, thread contention).


  • demo by Thierry D’Hers,
  • faster start-up,
  • hardware acceleration with IE9,
  • 64-bit Silverlight runtime.

Interesting facts

  • more then million developers are developing on Silverlight,
  • Windows Phone Marketplace has more then 3000 applications,
  • IIS Media Services 4.0 supports video streaming to Windows Phone 7, iPhone and iPad.

 New Features for Silverlight 5

Premium Media Experiences

Silverlight 5 offers improved media support and rich UI capabilities:

  • Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support.
  • TrickPlay allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind. At up to twice the speed, audio pitch correction allows users to watch videos while preserving a normal audio pitch.
  • Improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.
  • Remote-control support allows users to control media playback.
  • Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.

Business Application Development

Silverlight 5 is Microsoft solution for building next-generation business applications:

  • Fluid user interface enables smoother animation within the UI. Inter-Layout Transitions allow developers to specify animations to apply when elements are added, removed or re-ordered within a layout. This provides smoother user experiences when, for example, items are inserted into a list.
  • Text improvements make it possible to build rich magazine-style text layouts:
    –     Multicolumn text and linked text container allow text to flow around other elements.
    –     Tracking/leading set precisely how far apart each character is for full creative control.
    –     Text clarity is improved with Pixel Snapping.
    –     Text layout performance is significantly improved.
    –     OpenType support has been enhanced.
  • Support for Postscript vector printing enables users to create reports and documents, including the ability to create a virtual print view different from what is shown on the screen.
  • Applications can now work the way users expect with added support for double-click and Combobox type ahead.
  • Databinding enhancements allow more work to be done more easily via XAML:
    –     Debugging support now allows breakpoints to be set on a binding, so you can step through binding failures.
    –     Implicit DataTemplates allow templates to be created across an application to support a particular type by default.
    –     Ancestor RelativeSource allows, for example, a DataTemplate to bind to a property on the control that contains it.
    –     Binding in style setters allows bindings to be used within styles to reference other properties.
    –     The DataContextChanged event is being introduced.
    –     Markup extensions allow code to be run at XAML parse time for both properties and event handlers, enabling cutting-edge MVVM support.
  • Networking and Windows Communication Foundation enhancements:
    –      Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.
    –      WS-Trust support: message security — encrypted at the Windows Communication Foundation level; Security Assertion Markup Language authentication token.
  • Silverlight 5 performance improvements include these:
    –     Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.
    –     XAML parser improvements that speed up startup and runtime performance.
    –     Support for 64-bit operating systems.
  • Graphics improvements
    –     Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) accelerated 3-D application programming interface (API) provides rich graphics on the Web for building advanced data visualizations and rich user experience (UI).
    –     Immediate mode graphics API allows direct rendering to the GPU.
    –     Hardware acceleration is enabled in windowless mode with Internet Explorer 9.
  • Silverlight offers a new class of trusted applications that brings desktop capabilities to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks:
    –     Host HTML content as a Web browser control within the Silverlight application. HTML pages, such as help content or e-mail, can be integrated within the application.
    –     Read and write files to the user’s My Documents folder, making it easier to find media files or create local copies of reports.
    –     Launch Microsoft Office and other desktop programs. Users can open Microsoft Outlook and create an e-mail message, or send a report to Word utilizing the power of Office.
    –     Access devices and other system capabilities by calling into application COM components. Users can access a USB security card reader or a bar-code scanner.
    –     Enjoy full keyboard support in full screen, which enables richer kiosk and media viewing applications.
    –     Call existing unmanaged code directly from within Silverlight with P/Invoke.
  • Out-of-browser trusted applications are further enhanced:
    –     Existing unmanaged code can be called directly from within Silverlight with P/Invoke.
    –     Child Window support allows multiple windows to be launched from the application.
  • Tools improvements include these:
    –     Microsoft Visual Studio profiling support including CPU, memory, thread contention.
    –     Visual Studio Team Test support.

With Siverlight 4.0 Microsoft has announced new features called out of browser application and it has amazed lots of developer because now possibilities are unlimited with it. Now in silverlight 5.0 Out Of Browser application will have ability to Create Manage child windows just like windows forms or WPF Application. So you can fill power of desktop application with your out of browser application. RIA Services allows us to create N-tier application with silverlight via creating proxy classes on client and server both side. Now it will more features like complex type support, Custom type support for MVVM(Model View View Model) pattern. Silverlight 5.0 will provide in-depth support for 3D API. Now 3D rendering support is more enhancement in silverlight and 3D graphics can be rendered easily.


Silverlight 5 beta

Silverlight is coming


Silverlight 5 will focus on premium media experiences and improvements targeted at business apps running in and out of the browser, according to Microsoft. Many of the advances are designed to improve developer productivity in response to feedback, which Microsoft tallied as roughly 21,000 votes for various enhancements and features. The first public beta is slated for the first half of 2011. The Silverlight 5 release is planned in the second half of the year, according to Microsoft. For my point of view if Microsoft will continue to spent money to Silverlight project it can be more valuable and more featurable than Flash in 1 or 2 years.  Microsoft has good practices on development best features package from Java and transformation them on .NET. The same situation is here, all Flash best feature already in the package and more. .NET is really powerful platform with IDE like Visual Studio, with all Expression Blend and other tools for XAML and better communication with designers and developers team. That is really cool when competition like that begin and in 3-5 years one technology can grow and beat an old one, meaning like Flash.

 New Features for Silverlight 5

Comments (5) -

  • I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.
  • I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.
  • latest version of silverlight 5.0 is very very super. easly create the animations, process speed is very high. but one disadvantage only insteld 64bit motherboard
  • I am developing a website with the use of Silverlight. I am happy to see the Microsoft's new update of Silverlight 5. I am new to this version and I really thankful to you because you have posted such a informative post.  
  • silverlight 5.0 is very nice
    i like it !

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