Silverlight Firestarter Dec 2010

Watching the Silverlight Firestarter event that was hosted here at Microsoft today. 


Silverlight 5 Announced

  • Azure support
  • 64 bit Silverlight client is now available to run within 64 bit Internet Explorer
  • Low latency network applications
  • MVVM improvements, end to end complex types, RIA improvements, also mentioned as ported from WPF

Improved Data Binding and debugging of data binding.  It was mentioned that some of these are from WPF, that is a good cross product migration of tech.  This means you now have breakpoints within XAML files!  You don’t have to do it within just the source, you can set them within the XAML for the binding.  This would be VERY nice if added to ASP.Net as well.  When you have to write code for the data binding inline you can set a breakpoint for the code that gets executed as a part of the bind (and even view exception).

Text rendering is being worked on to make the text read better.  Vector Postscript output was mentioned for printing support of things not on a form.

Microsoft Power Pivot looks like it is being integrated into Silverlight 5.  It was previously a labs project, but a demo today was given showing a demo I have seen in the Power Pivot site.  There are some greatly improved capabilities for dynamic collections though, a demo shown against E-Bay API in real-time. 

Hardware Support for Video decode, and for 3D graphics rendering.  The demos on 3D rendering were very pretty, including lights. 

CodedUI (Feature Pack 2 for Visual Studio) allows you to record a test, and play it back for Silverlight within Visual Studio like a unit test.

Power Management to prevent screen savers when video is playing, but to allow it if the video is paused.  I can imagine this was a pretty big wish list item for Netflix.

Out of Browser Support Changes

Multiple Window Support (think MDI / Dialogs)

P/Invoke Support – to call WIN32 APIs.  But I seriously wonder about the security of this ability.  The use is obvious, there are a lot of non managed APIs, or non Silverlight managed APIs that companies might need.

Group Policy Support – Allows in browser apps to have more permissions to gain more control on the local box (like opening Office).

IIS Media Services

Encoding for streaming video to Phone 7, iPhone, iPad.  Live and on demand streaming.  On on Silverlight client machine the service can MUX the data to a desired format (this is how iPhone, iPad works).    This is also going to be enabled in Windows Azure to allow streaming content from the cloud.

Demo showing how to setup a live streaming server using Expression to do the encoding, and connecting to an IIS Media Services endpoint.  Apparently you can even enable DVR capability on live streams.  IIS takes care of doing the conversion for the platforms that don’t have Silverlight on the client.

Management details in IIS now include stream stats, showing the users, bandwidth, etc.

There is a Codeplex project to view Silverlight streaming video on the phone.

Microsoft Silverlight Media Framework -

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