Silverlight is a Web application development framework similar to Adobe Flash. Microsoft has just released Silverlight 3, a major update that delivers many new features including:
- Hardware graphics acceleration, which lowers CPU usage and enables 1080p HD video over the Web.
- Support for H.264 video, AAC audio and MPEG-4 content.
- Smooth media streaming over HTTP.
- 3D-perspective support that can be used with graphic elements, videos and controls.
- New bitmap and pixel APIs, and custom effects.
- Out-of-Browser support. Users can safely install Web applications on their computers, create desktop and Start Menu shortcuts.
- New network detection support to switch between online and offline modes.
- Automatic update mechanism for applications.
- Over 100 UI controls with full styling and template customization support.
- Richer data binding features
- A new DataForm control enables better master/detail scenarios.
- SaveFileDialog support.
- New navigation framework that enables deep-linking and forward/back button integration within the browser.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) support so that content within a Silverlight application can be indexed by search engines.
- Better text rendering and font support (a common complaint that resulted in the loss of a major customer).
- Better accessibility support.
- Major updates to Expression Blend and Sketchflow.
Article published on July 15, 2009
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