Guthrie Offers Silverlight 2 Beta Details

Those anticipating the next Silverlight beta release may not have long to wait. In a blog post on Friday, general manager of Microsoft's Developer Division Scott Guthrie said that the beta will come "shortly" and detailed some of the features to expect.

Back in November, Guthrie commented that Silverlight 2 will feature "a ton of new runtime features, as well as a significantly enhanced VS 2008 tooling support." In the post today, he focused on Silverlight 2's interop and RIA abilities.

Silverlight 2 will include "a cross-platform, cross-browser version of the .NET Framework, and enables a rich .NET development platform that runs in the browser," Guthrie wrote. "Developers can write Silverlight applications using any .NET language (including VB, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby)."

Running Silverlight 2 will not require the .NET framework, allowing it to function on any "vanilla Windows or Mac machine" (Linux wasn't mentioned) and work with browsers from Safari to Firefox to IE.

As far as the RIA features, some of the ones Guthrie cited include:

  • WPF UI Framework: Better controls and support for building more sophisticated user interfaces.
  • Rich Controls: New controls will include built-in layout management panels and data manipulation controls, plus new "templating model."
  • Rich Network Support: Cross-domain network access, built-in sockets and "out of the box controls for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS, and standard HTTP services."
  • Rich Base Class Library: XML, IO, collections, threading, globalization, generics plus "HTML DOM/JavaScript integration with .NET code."

More details on the new controls plus links to several Silverlight 2 tutorials can be found in Guthrie's blog post here.

Guthrie did not say exactly when Silverlight 2 beta will be released, only that he'll announced the release on his blog. There is speculation that the beta will arrive in time for the company's MIX08 Web development event in Las Vegas next week. Microsoft has confirmed that it will show a preview of the new version there.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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