Silverlight 5 Features | John Papa

John Papa

Evangelist on the loose

Silverlight 5 Features

...

Silverlight_Firestarter-0742Silverlight 5, announced at the Silverlight Firestarter this past Thursday, introduces many new features including several that focus on premium media experiences and business application development.

You can watch Scott Guthrie’s keynote here if you missed it, or if you want to see it again. 

In addition to this quick list of features we disclosed for Silverlight 5, I’m working on some posts to elaborate on the Silverlight 5 demos that you saw in the keynote, some behind the scenes looks, and some great photos from the event. We spent much of the past 5 months working up to this event from what started as a (very messy) diagram on my whiteboard … most of which is still up there. We built a team from many parts of the company to handle the aspects of the event and on Dec 2 we delivered what became the Silverlight Firestarter 2010. I had the honor of playing many roles in the event and I am blown away by the overwhelming support we received inside and outside of Microsoft.

But this post is all about the features, so let’s first start with the features we announced:

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

  • 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.
  • Model View ViewModel (MVVM) and 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 PInvoke.
  • Out-of-browser trusted applications are further enhanced:
    • Existing unmanaged code can be called directly from within Silverlight with PInvoke.
    • 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.
tags: Silverlight
  • http://topsy.com/johnpapa.net/silverlight/silverlight5features/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Anonymous

    Pingback from Twitter Trackbacks for Silverlight 5 Features : JohnPapa.net [johnpapa.net] on Topsy.com

  • Anonymous

    The Silverlight mobile device story is all messed up. You guys released Silverlight for Symbian; as browser plugin, great!…but will it be updated?
    Why Windows Phone browser doesnt support Silverlight (correct me if I am wrong).
    How can we, the third party developer can make a mobile web site with silverlight expereince? We need a parity across mobile devices (Windows Phone browser and Symbian browser); similar to desktop (Windows and Mac). Android is on the roadmap?

  • http://safarayaneh.com Anonymous

    Why IE9 browser doesnt support Silverlight(Biult-in)

  • http://blog.mark-stevens.co.uk/post/2010/12/05/Silverlight-5-Announced.aspx Anonymous

    Silverlight 5 Announced

  • Anonymous

    Can SL5 controls be embedded in WPF or WinForms apps and called directly i.e. without the use of a browser control/round tripping to the server.

  • Anonymous

    3D is for me! any more info about the API?
    Thanks for all the good work at the fire starter

  • Anonymous

    Still no SslStream support?

  • http://dotnetspeak.com/index.php/2010/12/silverlight-5/ Anonymous

    Pingback from Silverlight 5 « Sergey Barskiy’s Blog

  • http://kjdaly.com/blog Anonymous

    I personally don’t have a problem with the lack of Silverlight browser support on WP7: I honestly think that an app designed for the phone would be a better solution in most cases (what I *would* like to see on WP7 is Silverlight much more tightly integrated with the OS, but that’s another story).
    Including Silverlight with IE9 seems attractive at first, but it’s not hard to imagine lawsuits and anti-trust omplaints resulting – and if it was actually built-in (rather than a bundled plug-in) the subsequent upgrade story would be a mess.
    I’m more concerned by the apparent push to clutch Silverlight to the breast of Windows and Office.
    Also, I wish we had some info about the 3-D capabilities – do they have anything at all in common with the 3-D support in WPF? (in fact I’m generally curious about the state of WPF convergence)?

  • http://weblogs.asp.net/dwahlin/archive/2010/12/05/silverlight-firestarter-wrap-up-and-wcf-ria-services-talk-sample-code.aspx Anonymous

    I had a great time attending and speaking at the Silverlight Firestarter event up in Redmond on December

  • http://www.domagoj.pavlesic.com/post/Announcing-Silverlight-5.aspx Anonymous

    There is not much I can write about next version of Silverlight that hasn’t been written somewhere else

  • http://www.zenbeats.com Anonymous

    I think this is awesome and love that Microsoft is commited to Silverlight. But don’t you think that having to tell the President of the company that uses your cool Silverlight application that when he wants to save his report that he will need to manually type in the default file name because Silverlight doesn’t support the developers ability to provide a default file name? Is this really a version 5 feature? Or version 6, 7, 8? or version 1?
    Please vote for this feature becuase eventally everyone that is doing LOB application in Silverlight will need this capability.
    dotnet.uservoice.com/…/314361-set-the-

  • Anonymous

    Finally, the release that makes Silverlight a Flash and HTML killer, and even close contender to WPF for desktop apps… thanks guys!

  • http://polymorphicninja.blogspot.com Anonymous

    @Kevin Daly:
    I posed the question about the commonality of Silverlight 5 3D and WPF-3D to Pete Brown.
    I touch on the answer in my blog (http://tinyurl.com/2c53esj if you’re interested)
    But if not, the short answer is it’s not based on WPF-3D (nor XNA).

  • Anonymous

    Firestarter was a flop, SL 5 has just some impruvements and the only one new feature is 3D, and for evaluate this we musta wait 6 months !!
    It’s easy to understand that SL Roadmap is really ended.

  • Anonymous

    @Steo:
    How can you say "only". Can you imagine how much work is behind that 3D stuff? Also you might have missed the "Immediate mode graphics API allows direct rendering to the GPU". Those two features turn Silverlight into real Flash competitor.

  • Anonymous

    @Miroslav P:
    Silverlight is very good platform, but please, is far away to be a Flash competitor.
    Flash is real cross-platform,
    Silverlight will be never (Microsoft said)
    I’m a Microsoft programmer for faith, i’m was entusiastic
    about Silverlight, now i’m not

  • Anonymous

    John,
    Thanks for your efforts and the news of Silverlight 5 was very interesting.
    Unfortunately the key feature and announcement that Silverlight really needs was once again absent.
    Silverlight needs to support Android.
    Everything else is nice. Cross platform is essential.
    Without that Silverlight is just going around in circles, without the growth and adoption it needs long term. That makes me very wary of supporting this platform, which is a shame because I would really like to.
    Dan

  • http://jsgroupz.org Anonymous

    Will Silverlight 5 version support SQL Reporting Serivces or not?

  • http://zainshaikh.posterous.com/ Anonymous

    Awesome features man! (Y)

  • http://tomeks1enformatic1pl.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/silverlight-5/ Anonymous

    Pingback from Silverlight 5 | Prosto z pracy

  • http://mb-blogs.net/?p=143 Anonymous

    Pingback from Silverlight 5 – New Features « MB-Blogs

  • Anonymous

    Shabbir, I don’t know about SSRS, but IMHO, Silverlight is a better reporting tool. What’s interesting is that Entity Framework is supposed to support SSAS with SQL Server 2011 – I would personally prefer hooking that up via WCF RIA services then creating a Silverlight dashboard w/ data binding over using SSRS.

  • Vipul Patel

    What about Memory management ?

%d bloggers like this: