Silverlight FAQ

What are the features of Silverlight 4?
Silverlight 4 delivers a full suite of powerful features to application developers, bringing innovative platform capabilities to browser-based experiences. Silverlight provides an ideal platform for developing and deploying modern business applications for both internal and end-user applications on both sides of the firewall
  • Enabling business application development. Silverlight 4 affirms its position as the natural choice for building business applications on the Web:
    What’s new for application developers
    • Comprehensive printing support now enables the creation of a virtual print view, enabling applications to deliver print-friendly documents.
    • A full set of controls with more than 60 customizable, skinnable components makes it easy to build forms that can be sorted, resized and validated. New controls include RichTextArea with hyperlinks, images and editing.
    • Localization enhancements with bidirectional text, right-to-left support and complex scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew and Thai and 30 new languages.
    • The Microsoft .NET Framework Common Language Runtime (CLR) now enables the same compiled code to be run both on the server and the client, reducing development time and testing resources.
    • Enhanced databinding support reduces the amount of code needed to work with customized data for display.
    • Managed Extensibility Framework supports building completely modular applications, allowing for fast startup and download, efficient development and testing, as well as agile customization and servicing.
    • Windows Communication Foundation RIA Services introduces enterprise class networking and data access, allowing applications to work with any source of data and any server.
    • Extensive tooling support for Silverlight, new in Visual Studio 2010:
      • Fully editable design surface for drawing out controls and layouts
      • Rich property grid and new editors for values
      • Drag and drop support for databinding and automatically creating bound controls such as listbox and datagrid
      • New datasources window and picker
      • Easy-to-pick styles and resources to make a good-looking application based on designer resources built in Expression Blend
      • Built-in project support for Silverlight applications
      • Editor with full IntelliSense for XAML and C# and Visual Basic languages
  • Empowering richer experiences. Silverlight 4 introduces additional capabilities that enable developers to create richer, more appealing, high-performance interactive and innovative media experiences:
    • Enhanced animation capabilities allow for more dynamic, interactive presentation of data in lists.
    • Webcam and microphone support allow sharing of video and audio in applications such as chat and customer service.
    • Audio and video local recording capabilities capture RAW video without requiring server interaction, allowing new scenarios such as capturing voice or video to send in e-mail, or allowing the recording to be edited locally before saving.
    • Copy/paste and drag-and-drop make it easy to bring photos, text and other data into your application.
    • New features such as right-click and mouse wheel scrolling enable developers to add conventional desktop interaction models.
    • Silverlight 4 runs across all platforms and major browsers.
    • Silverlight 4 applications start quicker and run 200 percent faster than the equivalent Silverlight 3 applications with performance optimizations.
    • Multitouch support enables a range of gestures and touch interactions to be integrated into user experiences.
    • Multicast networking enables enterprises to lower the cost of streaming broadcast events such as company meetings and training, with seamless interoperability with existing Windows Media Services streaming infrastructure.
    • Content protection now available for H.264 media through Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady.
    • Output protection for audio/video streams allowing content owners or distributors to ensure protected content is only viewed through a secure video connection.
    • Official support of the Google Chrome browser
    • Hardware acceleration for Deep Zoom
    • XAP signing and verification to ensure application integrity
  • Moving beyond the browser. Silverlight 4 extends out-of-browser capabilities pioneered in Silverlight 3 that enable a Web presence to establish closer, more persistent relationships with customers without any additional runtime download or the need to write applications in a different way.
    For sandboxed applications
    • Developers can place HTML within their application, enabling much tighter integration with content from Web servers such as e-mail, help and reports.
    • Silverlight 4 provides support for desktop pop-up notification windows to easily provide real-time information and feedback to users using a common user interface metaphor.
    • Offline DRM extends the existing Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady technology to work in a disconnected state, enabling users to view content and engage with a Silverlight application where and when they want. Protected content can be delivered with an embedded license so that users can go offline immediately and start enjoying their content.
    • Silverlight 4 offers full control over window settings such as start position and size to ensure applications have maximum usability and flexibility.

    For trusted applications
    • Users can read and write files to their My Documents, My Music, My Pictures and My Videos folder (or equivalent for non-Windows platforms), enabling applications to make local copies of reports and media files.
    • COM automation enables access to devices and other system capabilities such as a Universal Serial Bus security card reader.
    • Users can access other desktop programs such as Microsoft Office Excel to create a report.
    • Group policy objects allow organizations to manage which applications are trusted.
    • Comprehensive keyboard support in full-screen out-of-browser mode enhances kiosk and media applications.
    • Enhancements to networking allow cross-domain access without a security policy file.
  • What are the features of Silverlight for Windows Phone 7?
    Silverlight for Windows Phone will support core Silverlight features while optimizing for capabilities specific to the Windows Phone 7. Feature highlights include the following:
    • Hardware-accelerated video with multicodec digital rights management (DRM) and Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming support
    • Vector and bitmap graphics with perspective 3-D
    • Multitouch support with Accelerometer, an intuitive control that responds to motion
    • Deep Zoom support for rich reading experiences
    • Camera and microphone support
    • Notification Service for pushing information to the phone, regardless of whether or not an application is running
    • Integration with the core Windows Phone 7 Series experience features such as hubs
    An overview of developing for Windows Phone can be found here and more information about Silverlight on Windows Phone can be found here.

  • What is Microsoft Silverlight?
    • What is Microsoft Silverlight?
      Silverlight is a powerful development platform for creating engaging, interactive applications for the Web, desktop, and mobile devices. Silverlight is a free plug-in powered by the .NET framework that is compatible across multiple browsers, devices and operating systems to bring a new level of interactivity wherever the Web works. With support for advanced data integration, multithreading, HD video using IIS Smooth Streaming, and built in content protection, Silverlight enables online and offline applications for a broad range of business and consumer scenarios.
    • Is Silverlight free?
      Yes, Microsoft has made the Silverlight browser plug-in freely available for all supported platforms and browsers.
    • Which platforms and browsers will Silverlight 3 support?
      Silverlight is supported by all major browsers on both Mac OS X and Windows, and with Moonlight on Linux as well. Particular care is being taken to account for differences in platform and browser capabilities to ensure a consistent experience including experiences on Internet Explorer 6, 7 8, Firefox2 and 3, Safari 3 and 4, and now Google Chrome.
    • Will I need more memory, a faster processor, or a better Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?
      Microsoft designed Silverlight with the ability to deliver high-fidelity experiences on the broadest set of system configurations. Some features, such as HD video, may benefit from the power contained in newer personal computers.
    • How do I verify Silverlight is installed?
      Verify your installation by visiting the Silverlight installation page.
    • How can I deploy Silverlight on my corporate network?
      The Silverlight Deployment Guide thoroughly details all the steps for rolling out Silverlight on a corporate network.
    Developing Silverlight Applications
    • Where can I download Silverlight and the associated Software Development Kits (SDKs)?
      The Silverlight installer and tools for Designers and Developers can be found on the Resources page. The Silverlight community site is also a great resource for developers to find additional resources and get started.
    • Where can I go to connect with other Silverlight developers to ask questions?
      For Silverlight-related forums, blogs, and community resources visit the Silverlight Support and Community page

    System Requirements
    • What are the system requirements for Silverlight 3?
      The system requirements for Microsoft Silverlight and associated technologies are listed below.
      • Operating System: Windows 7,Windows Vista; Windows XP Service Pack 2
      • Intel® Pentium® III 450MHz or faster processor (or equivalent)
      • 128MB of RAM
      Mac OS
      • Operating System: Apple Mac OS X 10.4.8 or above
      • Intel Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
      • 128MB of RAM


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