The release of Silverlight 5 is announced on Silverlight team blog a few days back. You can go and download it from this link. I’m very glad that Silverlight team managed to add some features that we requested. Thanks Silverlight team!
One interesting thing that I noticed is that SL team put a link to Microsoft Silverlight Support Lifecycle Policy in the announcement post. I’m happy to know that they are still going to ship updates for Silverlight 5 in future and they promised that SL5 will work on those browsers until 10/12/2021.
Here is the list of features shipped with Silverlight 5. It’s just a copy and paste from “What’s new in Silverlight 5” document.
Improved media support
- Low Latency Audio Playback: Use the SoundEffect API to trigger low-latency sound
- Variable Speed Playback: 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.
- H/W Decode of H.264 media: Significant performance improvements with H.264 media decoding of unprotected content
- DRM Key Rotation/LiveTV Playback: Long-running live TV playback protected through the use of rotating licenses
- Application-Restricted Media: Prevents playback of protected content in unauthorized applications
Improved Text support
- Text Tracking & Leading: Exercise fine-grained control over the spacing between characters and lines in your text
- Linked Text Containers: Create linked RichTextBlocks that allow text to flow seamlessly from one to the next
- OpenType and Pixel Snapped Text : Improved text clarity
- Postscript vector printing: reduces the size of print jobs and improves rendering quality of text
- Performance improvements for Block Layout Engine.
Building next-generation business applications
- PivotViewer — now included in SDK. Adds support for dynamic client-based collections, XAML-based visuals, and customizability.
- ClickCount: Add support for multi-click to your application
- Listbox/ComboBox type-ahead text searching: Listboxes and ComboBoxes can now scroll based on text input
- Ancestor RelativeSource Binding: Bind to a property on a parent control
- Implicit DataTemplates: Allow DataTemplates to be defined implicitly
- DataContextChanged event
- Added PropertyChanged to the UpdateSourceTrigger enum
- Save File and Open File Dialog: Specify a default filename when you launch your SaveFileDialog and specify a default directory when you launch your OpenFileDialog
- Databinding Debugging: Set a breakpoint directly in XAML, examine locals, and debug your bindings
- Custom Markup Extensions: Execute custom code at XAML parse time
- Binding on Style Setters: You can now specify a binding within a style
Silverlight 5 performance improvements
- Parser Performance Improvements: Improved XAML parse times for UserControls & ResourceDictionaries
- Network Latency Improvements: Significant performance improvement in ClientHttpWebRequest scenarios
- H/W accelerated rendering in IE9 windowless mode: Silverlight now uses the new SurfacePresenter APIs for H/W accelerated rendering in IE9 windowless mode
- Multicore JIT: Shortens the start-up time for Silverlight apps
- 64-bit browser support
- Improved Graphics stack: The graphics stack has been re-architected to add features such as Independent Animations
- 3D: Use the XNA API on the Windows platform to gain low-level access to the GPU and draw vertex shaders and low-level 3D primitives. Includes Render targets, XNA built-in effects, surface composition settings for depth/stencil buffers and multi-sample anti-aliasing
Silverlight 5 extends features of the “Trusted Application” model
Silverlight 5 extends features of the ‘Trusted Application’ model to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks:
- Multiple window support: Launch multiple top-level windows inside a SL OOB application
- Full-Trust in-browser: Using Group Policy, deploy signed in-browser applications that harness the full power of full-trust functionality
- In-browser HTML support: Host your WebOC within an in-browser SL application
- Unrestricted File System Access: Read from and write to any directory on your system, from a full-trust application
- P/Invoke support : Allows existing native code to be run directly from Silverlight
- Visual Studio Team Test support.