imageSilverlight 5 was released to the web yesterday, finalizing the feature list that many of us have been tinkering with in 2011. I’m excited that a product I had a very small part in shaping is now out. The team members are amazing and did a fantastic job amidst unusual circumstances over the past year, and I applaud them all. Fantastic job Silverlight crew!

The question many have already asked me is if they should install this release. If you are a Silverlight dev, then absolutely you should install this! There are a ton of great features in here and the backwards compat is solid., as usual

Download Silverlight

You can download Silverlight 5  from this page. Instructions are a bit unclear, but most developers should certainly should install the Silverlight5 Tools download which includes the Silverlight SDK, Silverlight tooling for Visual Studio 2010, and Silverlight Developer Runtime itself.

Other downloads I recommend

You most certainly will want to install the Expressions Blend 5 Preview, too, if you do any Blend work … which I highly recommend for Silverlight dev’s. You may also want to install the latest versions of RIA Services, the toolkit, and/or Mac runtime for Silverlight.


Summary of the features

(from the Silverlight 5 download package)

Improved media support

  • Low Latency Audio Playback
  • Variable Speed Playback
  • H/W Decode of H.264 media
  • DRM Key Rotation/LiveTV Playback
  • Application-Restricted Media

Improved Text support

  • Text Tracking & Leading
  • Linked Text Containers
  • OpenType and Pixel Snapped Text
  • Postscript vector printing
  • Performance improvements for Block Layout Engine.

Building next-generation business applications

  • PivotViewer
  • ClickCount
  • Listbox/ComboBox type-ahead text searching
  • Ancestor RelativeSource Binding
  • Implicit DataTemplates
  • DataContextChanged event
  • Added PropertyChanged to the UpdateSourceTrigger enum
  • Save File and Open File Dialog
  • Databinding Debugging
  • Custom Markup Extensions
  • Binding on Style Setters

Silverlight 5 performance improvements

  • Parser Performance Improvements
  • Network Latency Improvements
  • H/W accelerated rendering in IE9 windowless mode
  • Multicore JIT
  • 64-bit browser support

Graphics improvements

  • Improved Graphics stack
  • 3D

"Trusted Application" model

  • Multiple window support
  • Full-Trust in-browser
  • In-browser HTML support
  • Unrestricted File System Access
  • P/Invoke support

Tools improvements

  • Visual Studio Team Test support