Silverlight 5 is finally here. With all the talk about HTML 5, Silverlight has kind of taken a back seat. In real life however, using the right tool for the right job is more important than doing what is in vogue. There are many scenarios where Silverlight is still the better platform to choose.
This latest release takes that a step further by making some major improvements. You can see the complete list of whats new in Silverlight 5 over at MSDN. But I wanted to mention some key features that I think are really noteworthy.
– My absolute favorite is the Pivot Viewer Control. If you haven’t seen this thing in action, you are really missing out. This is one of those super cool things that can actually be useful in real life.
– The addition of hardware accelerated 3D graphics using XNA. Here is a great tutorial on building a Silverlight 5 3D box that you can host on your account. I should also mention, low latency sound can be achieved using XNA’s audio classes. I can’t wait to see some Silverlight drum machines!
– There are some major performance improvements as well. The one that I think will make most people happy is that HTTP web requests now occur in a background thread. The JIT also has multi-core support. So the start up times of a Silverlight 5 application are much faster.
– 64 bit browser support! Need I say more?
You have a hosting account already, so why not try to build something fun with Silverlight 5? If you build something, put a link to it in the comments section below, because we would love to see it!
– Michael Ossou, Developer