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Silverlight 5

Today we had the SIlverlight Firestarter event and revealed to the world for the first time, not only the plans for the next version of Silverlight, but also a slew of demonstrations of some key features.

If you weren’t able to attend live or online real-time, we have recorded the sessions which will be available later this week on Channel 9.

There has been a lot of confusion on the future of Silverlight.  Microsoft wants to ensure we have a great developer platform portfolio that supports all great technologies like HTML5, Silverlight and WPF.  We’ll continue to invest in these technologies for the future of developers to target multiple platforms, technologies and devices.

But for now, let me share some of the things we announced that we’re working on to deliver for Silverlight 5…

Media Improvements

  • Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 media
  • “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 allowing users to control media playback.
  • Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.

Application Development

  • Fluid user interface enables smoother animation within the UI. 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: 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.


So as you can see an impressive list of features we’ve been really working hard on to deliver.  We hope you like the features.  Please continue to suggest features to our team at http://silverlight.mswish.net and vote up others that already exist.  We really hope you look forward to the next version of Silverlight as we’re excited to bring it to you.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but no downloadable bits for you to play with just yet :-).

Hope this helps!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

12/2/2010 1:18 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Mmn lots of great news here! I'm looking forward to finding out more about this surprising new 3D API. For example, will it work on OS X? A future version of Windows Phone? How does it compare with D3D, XNA, and WPF3D? Will it be SL-exclusive or eventually work with WPF as well? I'm sure all will become clear in time. These were just my first thoughts after seeing the demo.

Also, anything to help debug XAML and databinding problems is most welcome. :)
12/2/2010 1:38 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
"let me share some of the things we announced that we’re working on to deliver for Silverlight 5"

This is promising. Can you confirm you guys are working on some things that haven't been announced? :)
12/2/2010 1:46 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Hey. I thought Silverlight was dead!?! That's what all the analysts wrote last month and they're never wrong. ;)

Any chance they might retract their statements and get CIOs to read real information about the future of Silverlight rather then their FUD. No chance.

SL5 sounds great and I can't wait to see it in beta form next year (following MIX, I guess).
12/2/2010 2:05 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
I am also wondering:
- how much of the stuff will gonna work from Mac. I am asking specifically about the 3D support, the HTML hosting in in browser mode, multiple window support in OOB mode

- when can we see samples(screenshots) of how much the new text rendering is improved
12/2/2010 3:24 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
I'm assuming the web browser control would finally enable embedding the ASP.NET ReportViewer in Silverlight apps, yes? That would be very helpful.
12/2/2010 3:34 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Thank's for recording the sessions Tim... you saved my day...
I really liked what I saw this morning. I guess that kills the blah blah rumours
about the Silverlight RIP things...Silverlight sure is alive and well :)
Unfortunately I missed most of the afternoon online real-time feed ...
One of those unwanted minor emergency situations...
Anyway I guess I'll catch up the replays on Chanel9. I won't miss anything afterall... thank's
12/2/2010 4:34 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
A Great day, today. We need only, at least IEmobile support and Android support. I don't care about ipad or iphone, they are negligible.

Please let us know only IF will be an android plugin and WHEN IEmobile will support the plugin
12/3/2010 1:57 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Please plug the remaining memory leaks and make sure that we don't hit the same memory problems with SL 5 as we did (still do...) with SL4.

Keep up the good work.

12/3/2010 2:13 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Wow Really coool awesome, waiting for Silverlight 5
12/3/2010 2:27 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
No words to describe my happiness right now :D Thank you guys. You always listen to your devs, and that's why your devs trust you. Keep it up.
12/3/2010 5:02 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
One word.....Android?
12/3/2010 7:55 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed

Thanks for the keynote - Silverlight 5 looks awesome!

However, it does not matter how awesome Silverlight is if it is not installed on the user's machine.

Microsoft will embed HTML in IE9 - why not also install the current version of Silverlight at the same time and level the playing field.

All the Microsoft voices continue to talk about how great Silverlight is but no one seems willing to discuss Microsoft's plans to insure a high market penetration of Windows desktop browsers - so Microsoft is saying going ahead and invest in Silverlight and maybe it will be on your customer's machine and maybe it will not.

Very disappointing to not hear this issue addressed after all that has happened since the last PDC.

12/3/2010 9:40 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Can you comment on PInvoke capabilities on Mac?
12/3/2010 10:01 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
@David - it's an interesting position. I guess the problem is that it is one thing to include Silverlight in the IE9 download but it might cause Microsoft problems as and when they come to include IE9 in a future release of Windows. At that point, I'd imagine they run the risk of further disputes with DoJ/EU bodies.

Still, how about Microsoft introducing a Browser Plug-in Ballot Box ;)
12/3/2010 12:52 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Why has SMIL apparently been left lame in Silverlight and ignored during the conversation about SL5? Not one mention of interest in the SL5 features request forum so I added the first just today DEC 3. I'm freaked out on this ommission.

SMIL is the playlist format nearly all of the HDTV, digital signage and set-top form factors have chosen to support. Its looking like we're going to be left out of the best parts of this emerging era of broadcasting our own HDTV channels if we do not have an extensible timeline and other capabilities SMIL supports but Silverlight does not.
12/5/2010 12:52 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
UDP Support? That's what low-latency networking means to me.
12/5/2010 7:31 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Firestarter 2 Dec probably burried Silverlight as a web technology with continued very limited reach. The plug-in is the main thing - what good are all these wonderful features if web users will not view them? The only thing that can save Silverlight is bundling with IE9 or with Windows 7 updates (or MS purchasing Adobe and integrating Flash into SL). I am sure that MS legal department is working hard on this because the world has changed since the last court decision and MS does not have the market power it once had.
12/6/2010 8:49 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Thanks Tim. We still miss you in Phoenix, no matter how much you are enjoying the rain in Redmon!
12/9/2010 12:54 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 - installation?
What about installation? One of the problems with SL 4 was the requirement for the user to manually uninstall SL3. How can a developer expect users to do this? SL5 MUST take care of any required uninstalls with nothing more than a user permission prompt!
12/9/2010 6:52 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
We're relying on Silverlight for a codebase that needs to be Web-based and cross-platform as well. Our strategy based on Silverlight requires P/Invoke on Mac and Linux as well. Are those in the works?
12/28/2010 7:14 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
What happened to the Silverlight version of Bing Visual Search? Looks like Microsoft is quitely taking out the Silverlight versions of everything from their sites and adding HTML 5 versions. Pathetic for a company just half a year ago touting and singing Silverlight and now quietly killing it off.
1/13/2011 8:36 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
i am a newbie on silverlight!!
just wanna ask!
can i bring the silverlight features (like i found on WP7 site)on my desktop!
coz i really want to make my desktop looks alike windowsphone7!
if you have the site to answer me! please tell me!
...sorry for my bad english....
1/18/2011 7:25 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
@Frank - UDP is for games and they use it because TCP verifies packets which takes extra time. UDP just shoves the data through which is faster.

To the guy saying Silverlight is dead. Come out of your cave. it never died.

1/21/2011 5:36 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Blend has the win phone 7 dev environment. Just XAML and HTML, no Silverlght?
7/12/2011 3:39 PM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
Bing has improved its shopping experience from mobiles. There’s a re-organized shopping experience that allows users to compare products and reviews on the go. Microsoft has also tweaked its movie search to show relevant movie information and the nearest theatres to your device.Chaussurespourelle.com
9/6/2011 10:42 AM | # re: Silverlight 5 Plans Revealed
This is an impressive list of improvements over Silverlight 4. The development capabilities now seem endless.
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