In a very insightful post, Scott Guthrie detail the current .Net web roadmap. Of particular interest is the Silverlight related text. First of all, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for officially re-branding taking Silverlight 1.1 to Silverlight 2.0. As somebody that's given numerous talks, the confusion that existed between 1.0 and 1.1 in conjunction with all of the other version numbers floating around became a little much. Silverlight 2.0 makes things a lot easier to explain.
In Scott's post, he details many specific new features that we can look forward to, hopefully in another preview release later this year before the beta next year. His highlights include:
WPF UI Framework: The current Silverlight Alpha release only includes basic controls support and a managed API for UI drawing. The next public Silverlight preview will add support for the higher level features of the WPF UI framework. These include: the extensible control framework model, layout manager support, two-way data-binding support, and control template and skinning support. The WPF UI Framework features in Silverlight will be a compatible subset of the WPF UI Framework features in last week's .NET Framework 3.5 release.
Rich Controls: Silverlight will deliver a rich set of controls that make building Rich Internet Applications much easier. The next Silverlight preview release will add support for core form controls (textbox, checkbox, radiobutton, etc), built-in layout management controls (StackPanel, Grid, etc), common functionality controls (TabControl, Slider, ScrollViewer, ProgressBar, etc) and data manipulation controls (DataGrid, etc).
Rich Networking Support: Silverlight will deliver rich networking support. The next Silverlight preview release will add support for REST, POX, RSS, and WS* communication. It will also add support for cross domain network access (so that Silverlight clients can access resources and data from any trusted source on the web).
Rich Base Class Library Support: Silverlight will include a rich .NET base class library of functionality (collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc). The next Silverlight preview release will also add built-in support for LINQ to XML and richer HTML DOM API integration.
The most important part in my opinion is the official introduction of controls, layout, and binding support. A lot of people having been doing some very creative work on these to show the potential, but we've all been anxiously awaiting the official story. When you look at the sample sites of control vendors like Telerik, Component One, Infragistics, etc you can see the power that exists. Having the official base to build these on will just expand this potential.
Reading that "compatible subset of the WPF UI Framework" is music to my ears! This will make it extremely easy for organizations working with WPF/XAML today to instantly be productive with Silverlight. For people considering the technology, this gives you even more return potential for the learning and training investment required.
Having a Go-Live license in Q1 is also great news! It's been difficult to see the power, but not really be able to put it to use yet,
Great job to everybody that's been working on this, I can't wait to get my hands dirty on some new bits. (please be soon!)