Microsoft Silverlight 5 – 10 Features You Will Love The Most!

When it comes to creating rich internet applications, Microsoft Silverlight is the dominant player in the market. Microsoft has left no stone unturned to make this product successful by introducing time-by-time updates in the form of different versions and Silverlight 5 is one of the much talked about additions in it! Silverlight 5 is yet another enhancement from Microsoft in its most ambitious product with tons of new add-ons and features over what we saw in the Silverlight 4.

The technology giant has introduced more than 40 new features including support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features within browser, text enhancements; a GPU accelerated 3-D API and more. Also, Silverlight 5 is available for Windows with browser support for IE 7 or higher, Firefox 3.6 or higher and Chrome 12 or higher and it is also available for Mac OS X with the browser support for Firefox 3.6 or higher and Safari 4 or higher.

Apart from all these, it also provides some out-of-the-box features, which will simplify the development task for the developers.Let’s take a look at the top 10 features that every developer or individual will love the most in Silverlight 5:

All new controls

Silverlight 5 brings new controls, including Pivot Viewer for the developers, which can easily deal with and manage large amount of data at a given point of time. One of the major benefits of this control is that it enables the end users to easily search the information required from the source collection.

Enhanced DialogBox

Before Silverlight 5, the developers were using openFileDialog and SaveFileDialog classes to open and save the file of any extension in the local disk. However, Silverlight 5 has improved DialogBox by introducing new property called “InitialDictionary”, which allows the developers to specify a default path. Also, by using DefaultFileName property in SaveFileDialog, the developers can specify a default file name that gets created whenever the user wants to save data locally from the application.

Digital Rights Management

Silverlight 5 brings great support for Live TV scenarios having policies and licenses. It is the responsibility of the Silverlight 5 client to enforce change of the policies for the developers, which means there won’t be any special client application code needed!

All new 3-D Graphics support

This is one of the major highlights of Silverlight 5. It has introduced support for using hardware accelerated 3D graphics within a Silverlight application. This has opened new doors of opportunities for the developers to include various things like 3-D drawn controls, data visualizers, 3-D charts, scatter points, 3-D games and more.

Adaptive Streaming and On-Demand Media through IIS Smooth Streaming

IIS Smooth Streaming is another great feature in Silverlight 5, which helps the users to bring high definition streams playing seamlessly on any device running Silverlight through standard HTTP protocols.

High Resolution Images and Frame Rates via Deep Zoom

It is one of the fastest zooming technologies ever introduced over the web. It will enable high resolution images and frame rates at the lowest loading time for the end users. It opens up the new doors of opportunities for the designers and developers to showcase thousands of items simultaneously on the go!

Improved Performance

One of the major features in Silverlight 5 is its enhanced performance. Now all the Silverlight 5 applications will support for 64-bit browsers. Also, they have made certain enhancements in the XAML parser. There are lots of other enhancements made that will help Silverlight applications load faster.

Simplified Skinning and Creating Graphics

Skinning and Styling were one of the major headaches for designers, which has been simplified by Silverlight 5. It enables designers to create graphics and then bind them with the customize controls.

Text-based Improvements

Silverlight 5 also brought tons of enhancements in character spacing and interline spacing to bring text clarity. It also includes a new control called RichTextBlock to enable the users display rich contents.

Trust-based Improvements

In terms of trusted applications, Silverlight 5 has included various improvements like access to the file system, multiple windows, ability to run inside the browser and call windows APIs.

Apart from all these, the users can leverage from enhanced media format extensibility, pixel shader and tons of other features. However, the 10 features discussed in this post are the major highlights of Silverlight 5. So, do you think Silverlight 5 would help Microsoft to beat its competitors?If we missed out any important feature,let us know in the comments…!

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