List of new and improved features in Silverlight 3
Dear visitor: Please keep in mind that this post is originally from Vibor Cipan's personal blog, the name of which we eventually adopted as our company name together with its conveniently-named URL. We're keeping the posts on our official company blog for all the subscribers to Vibor's blog who have read and commented on his previous posts. Please be aware that this post represents Vibor's personal thinking few years ago and doesn't necessarily represent the opinions of the UX Passion as a company today.
With Silverlight 2 released and already being installed on about 25% computers, we all look to new Silverlight 3. What we can expect from new Silverlight 3? What are new features in Silverlight 3 and why is this great time for you to start learning and exploring Microsoft Silverlight technology?
Silverlight 2 is here, but everyone seems to be focusing on next version of Silverlight – Silverlight 3. So I’ve compiled a list of publicly available information on Silverlight 3 and new features that might be part of this new release.
UPDATE: Silverlight 3 BETA is here and you can find list of new features here.
1. Major media enhancements
Silverlight is already great solution for supporting various media scenarios but we will see support for H.264 video in Silverlight 3. H.264 is a high-performance video compression technology but more on H.264 you can find on Wikipedia, of course.
2. Major graphics improvement
Think about support for 3D! Well that is something seriously great – will it be full 3D support like in WPF (Windows Presentation Framework) or some subset – I don’t know, but as long as it is a 3D in my web browser – I will go for it.
GPU hardware acceleration. Another biggie. Power to the GPU, freedom to the CPU. One word: great!
3. Major developer (designer?) experience improvements
Visual Studio and Visual Web Developer Express will bring fully editable and interactive designer for Silverlight. Additional controls and richer data – binding are also expected to be part of new wave around Silverlight 3. Regarding designer experience – Expression Studio (with Expression Blend 2 with Service pack 1 (SP 1) is already great solution for Silverlight 2. Can we look forward to new Expression Studio or Expression Blend 3?
4. Running Silverlight 3 applications outside of browser, as stand-alone desktop applications
There are some news and articles floating around that Silverlight 3 will support running Silverlight applications outside of browser and I have received number of e-mails asking about that even months before Silverlight 2 was released… Fact is that that information is not something I know much about. All I can do at this point is to cite New York Times and their talk with Scott Guthrie where they say:
Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the company’s developer division, said a “major” release of Silverlight planned for next year includes runtime features, much richer graphics, and data support, he said. More media capabilities are planned as well.
Guthrie also said attendees would learn how to run Silverlight inside and outside a browser. This would put Microsoft into the Adobe camp, which enables Internet applications to run outside the browser via Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime).
Well, I will keep you updated on this topic, and I suggest you to jump in and start developing and designing rich WPF and Silverlight 2 experiences.
And, of course, you might want to take a look at ScottGu’s blog – he is the man who knows really all about Silverlight and plans for future!