In a developer-focused event known as a Silverlight Firestarter, Microsoft laid out the roadmap for Silverlight 5, the next version of the company's rich Internet application technology.
At the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in October, the company indicated that it might be changing the focus of Silverlight. However, in a move to help set its record straight, Microsoft gave developers a peak at what they can expect from Silverlight 5 at the Silverlight Firestarter on Dec. 2. Microsoft corporate vice president Scott Guthrie hosted the event on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus.
Silverlight is a platform for creating and delivering rich Internet applications and media experiences on the Web. Silverlight 5 builds on the foundation of Silverlight 4 for building business applications, premium media applications and applications that reach beyond the browser, Microsoft said. Silverlight 5 introduces more than 40 new features, including support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features in the browser, enhanced video quality and performance improvements, and features that improve developer productivity. The Silverlight 5 beta will be available sometime in the first half of 2011, and will release to the web later in the year, Microsoft said. More information will be available at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight.
Silverlight 5 offers improved media support and rich UI capabilities, such as Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support. And the TrickPlay feature 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.