Silverlight 5 beta launched

Microsoft has announced the first beta release of Silverlight 5 today. According to TNW, the beta download is available on the official Silverlight site.

The Silverlight 5 beta adds a number of new features and capabilities, which include, graphic improvements and performance improvements such as network latency reduction and 64-bit support.

The official site also shows off some of the main new features aimed at helping developers reach new heights in delivering rich Internet based applications. They include:

  • 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.

While the official beta site mentions additional features such as:

  • XAML Debugging with breakpoints for binding debugging
  • Implicit data templates for easy UI reuse
  • Double (and multi) click support
  • GPU-accelerated XNA-compatible 3D and immediate-mode 2D API
  • Low-latency sound effects and WAV support
  • Real operating system windows and multi-display support

Now live, the Silverlight 5 beta can be downloaded directly from the MSDN Microsoft Silverlight website. Meanwhile, Silverlight team member Tim Heuer has posted a guide to the new features that the Silverlight 5 beta has to offer.

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18 Comments

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Well, hopefully it will be soon. The ribbon is far superior to previous toolbars, and it needs to become the standard in Windows 7. They do, however, need to design some sort of mini ribbon. Apps like Paint and Notepad, hell, really even Wordpad, none of them even have enough buttons to fill out a ribbon to the point where it's useful how it was designed.

I can't believe that no one is complaining about the 'bloat' typical of Microsoft.

The v1 runtime was < 2MB.

The v5 runtime is 9MB.

I think the increased size is well worth it for the advancements. Still smaller than Air.

It doesn't look like it... I'm on Windows 7 64bit, it doesn't show up under the 64bit IE9 add-ons manager, and the Silverlight websites just ask you to install it, as before, then tells you: "Microsoft Silverlight cannot be used in browsers running in 64 bit mode."
I only installed the runtime, but they probably still haven't released a 64bit version.

To be honest, to me it looks like the primary purpose of Silverlight is to give Microsoft a kick-ass media delivery mechanism that can be used across their devices, like on the Xbox for their rumored upcoming digital tv service in Xbox Live.

Programming interfaces looks to be a happy side effect due to the power of the Silverlight.

(Well, that's how it looks to me anyway)

blerk said,
(Well, that's how it looks to me anyway)

Not only their devices. MS support Silverlight for MacOSX.

Miguel de Icaza and the mono crew work to support the Open source world.

This is the one runtime. it is sweet.

but i bet that it still unable to load and unload a xap (silverlight) file inside a silverlight container.

I would really love to program for Silverlight... the idea of using C# to develop for the web is really appealing for me. But I don't think this product will last....
HTML5 + Javascript is the way to go, IMO.

Bamsebjorn said,
I would really love to program for Silverlight... the idea of using C# to develop for the web is really appealing for me. But I don't think this product will last....
HTML5 + Javascript is the way to go, IMO.

Silverlight does not compete with html5 + js, yes there is an overlap in what they do, but generally they are for doing completely different things.

HTML5 + js may eventually eliminate the need for silverlight (or flash) for many simple tasks like displaying video etc., but for actual web applications you will always need something like silverlight.

Martin5000 said,

Silverlight does not compete with html5 + js, yes there is an overlap in what they do, but generally they are for doing completely different things.

HTML5 + js may eventually eliminate the need for silverlight (or flash) for many simple tasks like displaying video etc., but for actual web applications you will always need something like silverlight.


I'm not sure why? Anyway, it should be added that this is only about client-side web applications. The majority of web apps, those residing on the server, of course have nothing to do with this.

Northgrove said,

I'm not sure why? Anyway, it should be added that this is only about client-side web applications. The majority of web apps, those residing on the server, of course have nothing to do with this.

By web applications I meant client side applications, to do anything genuinely complex client side will always require a comprehensive and efficient API, html5 and js are great for developing websites, but compared to developing in - for example - the .NET environment they are massively limted, to the point where they are totally incomparable.