At the Silverlight Firestarter event today in Redmond (And broadcast live around the world) Scott Guthrie kicked off the show with a very exciting look ahead at some of the planned features for Silverlight 5. There were two strong themes to these new features “Premium Media Experiences” and “Business Application Development”.
The enhancements to media include Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 using GPU support improving performance for lower power devices as well as “Trick Play” capabilities to play videos at different speeds (Up to 2x) with pitch correction. Improved power awareness will keep the screensaver from appearing while video is playing, but also allows the system to sleep when video is paused. Remote control support will also be added to media.
On the “Application” front, features improving text clarity and layout performance and “Fluid” layout capabilities. OpenType support has been enhanced and tracking/leading have been added. Enhancements have also been added for MVVM support and Databinding enhancements.I swear I could here Josh Smith’s excitement all the way in here in NC when he heard that Markup Extensions were being added as well. I think one of the coolest demos of the day was John Papa setting breakpoints in XAML (Yes, in XAML) and having the debugger stop when bindings were hit, providing the ability to step through the binding process and make solving problems easier. A GPU accelerated API was also shown, providing rich 3d visualization capabilities.
If you’re interested, a complete list of future features is available here as well as be sure to check out Scott’s Blog, Pete’s Blog, and Tim’s Blog for the latest info. (For info on the latest release of the WCF Ria Services Toolkit, check out Jeff’s Blog!) The information shared today was a strong indication of the continued commitment Microsoft has to Silverlight, and the exciting opportunities that exist for developers on the web, on devices, and on the desktop with Silverlight!