updated 09:45 pm EDT, Sat July 11, 2009
MS Silverlight 3 released
Microsoft has released Silverlight 3, a new release of its multimedia software for Web. The software is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Version 3 of new version of software, designed only for Intel-based Macs, offers better performance, GPU acceleration, tools to run on the desktop, and support for higher quality audio and video, including native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline. For developers, it new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements to enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.
Specifically, Silverlight 3 allows developers and designers to apply content to a 3D plane, more pixel shader effects, bitmap caching (and a new bitmap API), themed application support (along with cascade styles), new effects such as spring and bounce with custom mathematical functions to describe an animation, and enhanced control skinning. Microsoft also added over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls such as charting and media, new layout containers such as dock and viewbox, and controls such as autocomplete, treeview and datagrid.
Moreover, for developers, Silverlight 3 includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA, SEO optimizations by automatically mirroring database-driven RIA content into HTML along with access to all system colors, allowing partially-sighted people to make changes such as high contrast color schemes for ease of readability by using familiar operating system controls.
According to the company, version 3 also a new "out of browser experience" that enables users to place Silverlight applications directly onto their PC and Mac, with links on the desktop and start menu--all without the need to download an additional runtime or browser plug-in. It further allows Silverlight applications to work whether or not the computer is connected to the Internet. Other features for developers include an updated designer-developer workflow, Photoshop and Illustrator import, new behaviors for better interactivity, and enhanced data support.