Silverlight isn’t going away anytime soon. Microsoft has announced that Silverlight 5 is coming with a beta release in the first quarter of 2011. Silverlight 4 was released in March this year, along with an announcement that Silverlight is on 60% of all internet devices. The primary competition of Silverlight is of course, Adobe’s Flash as well as the open source HTML5.
The new iteration of the platform will see several major new features like variable speed for media playback, remote control support as well as smaller ones like stopping the screensaver from popping up when playing videos. Integrated 3D graphics support will also feature in the new Silverlight.
Tim Heuer, Program Manager for Silverlight, elaborated on the new features in his blog.
- Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 media
- “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.
- Improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.
- Remote-control support allowing users to control media playback.
- Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.
- Fluid user interface enables smoother animation within the UI. Layout transitions allow developers to specify animations to apply when elements are added, removed or re-ordered within a layout. This provides smoother user experiences when, for example, items are inserted into a list.
- Text improvements make it possible to build rich magazine-style text layouts:
- Multicolumn text and linked text container allow text to flow around other elements.
- Tracking/leading set precisely how far apart each character is for full creative control.
- Text clarity is improved with Pixel Snapping.
- Text layout performance is significantly improved.
- OpenType support has been enhanced.
To see a huge list of the stuff that you can expect from Silverlight 5, head on to Tim’s blog by clicking here.