Microsoft has announced the future of Silverlight with its promise for version 5 of the product.
The software giant revealed the future of Silverlight at a Silverlight developer event on Thursday, streamed to 20,000 people online. Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie took to the stage to keynote the event entitled “Silverlight Firestarter”. Guthrie detailed some existing premium media solutions based on Silverlight 4 such as SAP and a Facebook Silverlight application. Guthrie then went on to talk about the future roadmap of Silverlight at Microsoft. ”There is a Silverlight future and we think it’s gonna be a bright one” said Guthrie.
Introducing Silverlight 5, Guthrie said the next version is a “major new release” that brings new enhancements for media. Silverlight 5 introduces the following support:
- Hardware media decoding – can stream 1080p video on Netbooks
- Trickplay – variable playback of video and audio including pitch correction
- Power management – less battery used during playback and richer power management
- Remote control – 10ft experience against a PC and can take advantage of remote controls for playback
- 64-bit version of Silverlight
- Databinding enhancements
Microsoft also announced IIS Media Services 4.0 to allow smooth streaming of Silverlight content to Windows Phone 7, iPhone and iPad. Microsoft demonstrated the streaming technology to an iPad and Windows Phone 7 device.
The introduction of Silverlight 5 comes as the software giant went on damage control last month after comments by Microsoft’s Bob Muglia. Microsoft revealed their strategy had “shifted” for Silverlight in an interview with Mary Jo Foley at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October. Bob Muglia admitted to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that “HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything”. Muglia made his comments at a time when Silverlight developers were crying out for information on the future direction of Silverlight and any hints at Silverlight 5.
“Silverlight is our development platform for Windows Phone,” said Muglia. The Microsoft President, in charge of the company’s server and tools division promised a future version of Silverlight delivered today. After Muglia’s revelations the company went on damage control and even CEO Steve Ballmer issued a statement. “Silverlight provides the richest media streaming capabilities on the web, and we will continue to deliver that on both Windows and Mac,” wrote the Microsoft CEO in a statement released last month.
Silverlight 5 will be released as a public beta in the second quarter of 2011. Microsoft says a final version will be available by the end of 2011.