Silverlight 5 Planned Features Include 'Hardware Decoding, Fluid UI, Power Saving' and More!

At the Silverlight Firestarter event, Microsoft unveiled the next iteration of its Silverlight technology, "Silverlight 5," which the company said will improve things like media playback and the time it takes to develop apps. "Let me pause and say there's a future for Silverlight, and it's going to be a bright one," Scott Guthrie said.Guthrie […]

At the Silverlight Firestarter event, Microsoft unveiled the next iteration of its Silverlight technology, "Silverlight 5," which the company said will improve things like media playback and the time it takes to develop apps. "Let me pause and say there's a future for Silverlight, and it's going to be a bright one," Scott Guthrie said.

Guthrie detailed some of the new features coming to v5, which he said that > 21,000 votes had been cast, and that the company had gotten to about 70% of those voted-on items into v5. In addition to tooling updates, v5 will add improved media support and richer user-interface capabilities on the premium media experiences front, according to the company.

On the rich media front, v5 will add:

  • Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support
  • "TrickPlay," which allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind
  • Remote-control support allows users to control media playback
  • Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources

On enterprise app-development front -- an area of increasing emphasis for Microsoft with Silverlight -- v5 will add:

  • Fluid user interface to enable smoother animation within the UI
  • Support for Postscript vector printing
  • Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking

v5 also will include general performance and graphics enhancements:

  • 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
  • Graphics Processing Unit accelerated 3-D application programming interface (API) to provide rich graphics on the Web for building advanced data visualizations and rich user experience
  • Immediate mode graphics API allows direct rendering to GPU
  • Hardware acceleration via windowless mode with IE9

More Info: Silverlight