Microsoft Delivers Silverlight 5 Release Candidate

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-09-01

Microsoft has delivered a new version of Silverlight 5, a release candidate version of the technology to help developers prepare for the final version to be released later this year.

Microsoft has delivered a new release candidate (RC) of Silverlight 5, the company's tool for creating and delivering rich Internet applications and media experiences on the Web.

In a Sept. 1 blog post, Pete Brown, lead of the Developer Guidance Community Team at Microsoft, said the Silverlight 5 RC is now available as a developer-only release that is aimed at getting developers ready for the final release later this year. There is no Go-Live license for the RC. The Silverlight 5 RC can be downloaded here.

Brown said: In addition to what we had in the beta, some of the more exciting features included in this release are:

Moreover, Brown said Microsoft made several changes to the locations of some of the XNA namespaces and files. "For example, you'll find that much of the 3D stuff has moved to a different DLL," he said. "We've also changed the Linked Text feature to use the read-only RichTextBlock rather than the editable RichTextBox. I've updated both posts and their downloadable source code to reflect the changes."

Silverlight 5 builds on the foundation of Silverlight 4 for building business applications and rich media experiences. Among other capabilities, the Silverlight 5 RC delivers video quality and performance improvements, and features that improve developer productivity.

Silverlight 5 offers improved media support and rich UI capabilities, such as Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 to improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support. And TrickPlay 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. Also, improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.

And Silverlight 5's fluid user interface enables smoother animation within the UI. Inter-Layout Transitions allow developers to specify animations to apply when elements are added, removed or re-ordered within a layout, Microsoft said.

Silverlight 5 performance improvements include: Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking; XAML parser improvements that speed up startup and runtime performance; support for 64-bit operating systems; and reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.

Meanwhile, Silverlight tools improvements include Microsoft Visual Studio profiling support including CPU, memory, thread contention and Visual Studio Team Test support.

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