Silverlight 5

Date Published: 09 December 2011

Silverlight 5

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain

Today, Silverlight 5 is released and available for download! The Release Candidate has been around for some time, and many of us were expecting the release in November. Well, here it is, November 39th, and it’s here! Here are some of the things that are New or Improved in Silverlight 5:

  • Binding Improvements, including ICustomTypeProvider, Binding in Style Setters, DataContextChanged Event, and Custom Markup Extensions
  • Support for the XNA 3D API for 3D graphics
    • 3D Render Targets
    • 3D surface composition settings
    • 3D multi-sample anti-aliasing
  • Other improvements to the Graphics Stack
  • Hardware decoding for H.264 media
  • Low-latency sound effects (good for games)
  • Variable Speed Playback and Trick-play (great if you want to listen to podcasts at high speed)
  • Text Improvements
    • Text Tracking and Leading
    • Linked and Multi-column Text
    • OpenType Support
  • Better OS integration
    • P/Invoke support
    • Multiple Window support
    • Full file system access (in full trust)
    • Default Filename support in Open/Save FileDialogs
    • 64-bit browser support in Windows
    • Power awareness (don’t sleep while movie is playing, for instance)
  • Performance Improvements
    • Faster Parser
    • Multi-Core JIT compilation (improved start-up time)
  • Double-Click (and n-click) support
  • PivotViewer control
  • ComboBox type-ahead search
  • Printing improvements
  • Tasks from Task Parallel Library

Pete Brown has a great write-up of these and more features. There is another, official list of What’s New in Silverlight 5 available on the site. You can learn more at, or from Pete’s book, Silverlight 5 in Action.

Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.