Silverlight 5 now available to download

By Tom Warren, on 10th Dec 11 11:42 am with 54 Comments

Microsoft delivered the final version of its Silverlight 5 product this week.

Silverlight 5 includes new capabilities such as Hardware Video Decode, for enhanced video quality and performance, and “Trickplay,” which provides variable-rate video playback with audio pitch correction. Silverlight 5 also offers a new Microsoft XNA-based interface for delivering 3-D visualizations within applications, along with a host of new features for developers. Silverlight 5 is likely to be the final version of Silverlight. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that the company plans to support Silverlight 5 until 2021.

Silverlight 5 also extends the ‘Trusted Application’ model to the browser. System administrators can enable the features via group policy and they allow greater control over multiple window support, trust support in browser and HTML hosting within Silverlight. Silverlight 5 also includes the following developer related enhancements:

  • XAML Debugging with breakpoints for binding debugging
  • Implicit data templates for easy UI reuse
  • Double (and multi) click support
  • GPU-accelerated XNA-compatible 3D and immediate-mode 2D API
  • Low-latency sound effects and WAV support
  • Real operating system windows and multi-display support
  • Significant performance improvements, fixes and much more
More information on Silverlight 5 and a 7MB download at
  • GP007

    Any news on what they’ll do after this version?

    • Impartial

      not release a new version and support V.5 till 2021, dude its in the article! :)

    • teusje

      I hope they will keep supporting silverlight…
      it is easier to develop and has more power then html5

    • Seth_p

      They would still support it and fix vulnerabilities.

      SL may have more web flexability but you still have .NET for Win8 apps + WRT. Although, you’ll be loosing smooth streaming and such from SL (hmmm)

    • TheReal

      They will continue to support Silverlight. It will not go away. Look people are still supporting windows mobile and symbian and meego and a host of other otherwise thought dead or dying OSes sooner or later when IOS is on the cutting room floor it too will have a cadre of diehard supporters. 

    • St

      It’s not official

    • GP007

      That says nothing about newer versions.  It could just be that SL5 is the last one to support a browser plug-in and anything else after this could all be out-of-browser only, like all the LOB apps in use by enterprises.

    • Impartial

      true, you could be right as silverlight has now just been officially named the streaming platform for Lovefilm, so that might be the future? Anyway I hope they continue with that cos streaming on my xbox with wifi is really good

    • Justfortherecord

      2021 for support extension show that an indication that there could be a resurrection window. If it was only being supported to 2014 then you could say that the curtain will follow. But to an earlier posting that internal politics have played a role is a good possibility. Hence the long support window. It could come back. Don’t discount Silverlight based upon internal strife. A 10 year window of support is a long time and things can change.

    • Seth_p

      What I’ve gathered at some Microsoft talks, they hint off 5 being the final release. Although, they’ll release a minor (really minor) just to give the appearance of continued development so developers don’t get (too) discouraged. RIA has it’s purposse and SL5 provided all of what it needs [now]. Microsoft would keep it in support for it’s ISV investors, obviously, while they transition code.

      In all honesty, killing SL isn’t a huge loss. All the technologies used are carried over.

    • Guest
    • Seth_p

      Gracias :)

    • oolong2

      “Write once, run everywhere”  Which is the core appeal of Silverlight. is certainly NOT carried over. 

      Silverlight can run on all versions of Windows (XP, Vista, 7, & 8) as well as Mac and limited Linux support.

      Windows 8 is ONE operating system which will have limited support in the near  future. 

      Essentially Microsoft is forcing developers to develop one set of libraries for phone applications, another set of libraries for tablet applications, and possobly a third set for desktop applications.  This is completely asinine…  Even iOS and Android allow you to create ONE app that targets phone and tablet.

    • Guest

      As soon as you said “Write once, run everywhere” you lost all credibility.

    • Seth_p

      Actually development for a tablet requires some modifications if you want it optimized. So, it’s not ONE app.  Also, I never said there aren’t limitations – but we don’t know much [really!], just speculations of what’s to come. It’s nonsensical to assume Microsoft is just “dumb” with ZERO plans.

      What are you talking about, “one set of libraries”? If you know .NET it shouldn’t be an OMGWTF moment when you transition to another Windows device. You’re making it sound like C# is completely different from different devices. Presentation wise, XAML is XAML. In Win8 we deal with a little different async model but that it’s not that huge of a deal (isolation is a little grrr!)

      Is it annoying to have a flip flop? Yes, but devs like myself should be use to it, if not, then it’s not the right field for them. Is it going to make my [or whoever] work any harder? Depends on your experience, but really shouldn’t.

      Lastly, Silverlight like any RIA has it’s benefits of interop BUT it’s a plugin which overlaps w/ some of HTML5 (in essence you don’t need a hefty plugin for a new standard). Also it isn’t great for battery life… and since we’re all loving up battery powered devices, SL and Flash don’t provide good marketing.

    • oolong2


      1.  “Some modifications” doesn’t mean recreating the entire application for a tablet,  Creating a complex application with any scale relies on reusing and sharing libraries., not “copying and pasting” code snippets.  A slightly bigger screen and UI doesn’t mean all your logic is suddenly thrown out the window.  As a dev you should understand that.

      2.  It’s not about Microsoft being dumb it’s about internal politics. This country (the US) knows all too well how politics can completely change policies for the worse.

      3. What about Silverlight on windows phone is bad for battery life?

      I’ve been a Microsoft fan for a very long time.  However that doesn’t mean blindly believing every descision they make is brilliant. 

      The changes the company is going through are not good for developers, period,  Developer Division has it’s hands tied, Scott Gurthrie has moved on to focus on Azure. and other key people from the Silverlight team have left.

      This is about platform lock-in and the view that Silverlight is a threat to Windows.  Essentially Microsoft has decided that there’s more money in being like Apple than having an open platform and development stack.

      HTML5 on it’s own is limited,  HTML5 running in Metro and enhanced with Microsoft specific javascript extensions and tags is capable.  Of course this requires going through the App Store….   Silverlight doesn’t have these limitations.   It’s naive to believe Microsoft is encapable of running  Silvelright on their own platform and browser.

    • Philly

      See, plugins simply have no future. Everything that goes to the web should be build once run anywhere. Sl was only the beginning, winrt provides a great platform that does not depend on any other browser vendors and does not need to care about integration to third party. Windows is the ecosystem. For now. In further away future winrt will run on the web, i promise. Sl is irelevant for the future.

    • Guest
  • Windows8Rocks

    ArrowSmith. Please dont rage about windows on this forum

  • Joel Job

    I wish we can get a clear answer from Microsoft about Silverlight and its future. a Lot of companies have invested a lot of time and skilling their resources to use this great technology. All is not lost because Silverlight is based on XAML and those skills can be used in the next version of Visual Studio (11). I would still think SL has a great future and MS should not stop investing in extending its functionality.

  • juho

    there is anything else like flash music player(-easy to make)??

    if i know that i, i will use silverlight than flash

  • Anonymous

    it’s 12.46MB for x64.

    • Anonymous

      That definitely changed my life.

  • Anonymous

    You know I really like this blog, I really do. But unsubstantiated statements like “the final version of Silverlight” are just BS. Please don’t turn this place in another WMPU site.

    • Impartial

      he says it is likely, so he is being cautious… Mary Jo F also thinks the same…

    • Seth_p

      In all fairness, Tom did say “likely to be…” before “the final version of Silverlight.”

    • Anonymous

      Subtitle – “Microsoft delivered the final version of its Silverlight 5 product this week.”

      No ambiguity there.

    • Seth_p

      Yeah, it IS the final version of Silverlight 5. It’s been in beta for a while :P

  • Swift Milton Pope

    The real shame is that Silverlight, as it’s come to be, now actually could fill a really nice niche in a software ecosystem.  It’s more potent than HTML5, but without many of the security, reliability, and maintenance concerns that come with traditional native applications.

    The really lousy thing is that Microsoft could have very easily made (or, at least, it seems like Microsoft could have very easily made) Silverlight a direct route to creating Metro applications in Windows 8. Instead, Redmond has decided to reallly, really push HTML5, and (if the scuttlebutt is correct, and it think it’s very likely to be correct) they are terminating a vehicle that would seem like a natural fit for making powerful Metro applications.

     And, of course, those developers who bought in to Silverlight –at Microsoft’s strong promotional urging– are screwed. No sane developer creates apps for a platform that they know is headed for the ash heap of history. The only consolation they are getting is Microsoft’s patronizing assurance that developers ought to be able to reuse some of their Silverlight knowledge and skills in building Metro apps in other ways.  If they have the raw temerity not to use HTML5, that is.

    I just don’t get it.

    • Guest

      Yeah, the industry shifted to HTML5 and rather than fight it unsuccessfully, like they normally do, MS decided to embrace it. How stupid of them /s 

    • Anonymous

      I’m fine with allowing HTML5 into the game. I think it’s a great idea. It just seems like MS needs to do a lot more to communicate that HTML5 and C#/Xaml are equals. It seems like every few days you hear “Silverlight is dead.” That really scares developers who have invested a ton into their Silverlight/WP7 codebases. MS needs to hold a press conference and tell people like Mary Jo Foley that Silverlight is not dead and that C#+Xaml has a long healthy life ahead of it.

    • Johnny Westlake

       Dude. You know you can create Windows 8 Metro apps in what is essentially Silverlight. They don’t *call* it Silverlight, but it uses Silverlight’s XAML model (not WPF’s), similar sandboxing restrictions as Silverlight, and C# – but with additional Windows 8 integration libraries chucked in to improve it.

      HTML 5 isn’t the *only* option for Windows 8 Metro apps, but it’s the one they’re fussing about right now. You can use “Silverlight” if you wanted – and it’s going to be the much preferred option for the majority of developers (because actually *programming* an application with HTML & javascript is a complete nuisance)

    • Philly

      Silverlight sucked for most webapps it was used for, especially lob apps and pages that consist of one big sl control. The only one that did their sl apps right seems to be ms themself. Html and js isnt that bad to develop with if you use the right tools. Knockoutjs is a great library that brings xaml like databinding and mvvm to html development.

  • Anonymous

    Silverlight (and WPF) is the main reason I am a MS fanboy. Silverlight brought me into the world of Microsoft development, tools, and operating systems. If it weren’t for Silverlight I would probably be doing Java on linux (and not enjoying it). If I ever have to go back to HTML5/Javascript development I will probably leave development altogether. Without LINQ, properties, (threading) Tasks, XAML, data binding, OOP, polymorphism, and all the wonderful productivity-enhancing aspects of a real language, programming becomes extermely tediuous. I’m glad to see that much of this lives on in WinRT but MS really should have made Silverlight and WP7 apps run as Metro apps without any modifications. 

    • Guest

      Which would have produced apps clearly not designed for Metro or the underlying mobile scenarios that W8 is aimed at. Faced with a difficult decision (you know MS wanted as many apps as possible for W8 Metro), I think they made the right decision: focus on the customer experience.

      Some existing SL developers will have some work to do in order to redesign their apps and bring them across, assuming they choose to do so. Other less skilled developers will find WRT easier to develop in.

    • oolong2

      Sorry,  but the fact that Silverlight (and XNA) has been the development platform for Windows Phone for the past year and a half completely invalidates the idea that Silverlight is not designed for mobile scenarios….

      There are thousands of mobile apps based on Silverlight TODAY.

      Silverlight was downplayed due to internal politics, plain and simple.

    • Guest

      How many SL apps were designed for WP vs Windows? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The vast majority are NOT designed for either Metro or mobile.

    • oolong2

      What the heck are you talking about? 

      Silverlight IS the development environment for Windows Phone 7.

    • Guest

      It’s done. Options:

      1) Whine
      2) Embrace
      3) Move to iOS or Android

    • Philly

      There are probably more sl wp7 apps than browser apps.. :P no, my point is, that winrt brings a redesign of .net and xaml, which makes it faster(also more native core). This new enviroment can now be the baseline to be adopted by other platforms like winphone.p

    • Anonymous

      In reply to Guest: I was hoping it wasn’t quite “done” yet. :) You’re probably right that it’s locked in stone at this point. If so, I am grateful to have a Xaml + C# solution, even if it isn’t exactly the same as Silverlight or WP7. I would much rather move forward porting my apps to WinRT than have to port them to HTML5. Ewww. :)

    • Joe_HTH

      Sorry to tell you that Silverlight is not long for this world, its days are number:

      I guess you will move to Android?

    • Guest

      FO troll.

    • Guest

      Why is he a troll for pointing out the fact that the OP stated they are only a fan of MS because of Silverlight and pointing out that Silverlight is soon a dead product?

    • Anonymous

      I have been developing in WPF recently as well and love it.  I don’t know about Silverlight’s future, but if you look at the dev tools for WinRT on Windows 8, their .NET implementation is basically the same C#/XAML that you find with WPF.  In fact, I’m not sure I could tell much of a difference in the XAML itself.  So WPF should live on.

  • Anonymous

    The final version of Silverlight, RIP.

    • Guest

      Yeah, poor Apple developers. They can only wish for something as good as SL. Meanwhile MS is moving to something even better.

    • Jinge

      Maybe for “online” SL, but not desktop/mobile! WP is based on SL, so last version = no upgrade for WP for you? 

    • Shameer Mulji

      Are you sure? I was under the impression that Windows Phone will also be using the WinRT runtime and will not get a new version of Silverlight after version 5.

      Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Philly

      Even if so(it would be great if ms could those 2 ecosystems asap), does it matter in anyway? Is it just because of the name?

  • Penta2100

    I ♥ XNA

  • TheReal

    Its true, that the a great majority of people who troll live in
    microcosms that truly are unaware of the revelations that few have yet
    to follow.   I have also noticed that Arrowsmith a rampant troll only goes after pieces his little brain can comprehend. He/She does not venture to deep into the more technical articles.

  • Sharmahemant

    I love Silverlight, and I hope Microsoft continues to improve upon it.  I suspect that after windows 8…when and if users dont flock to Metro/HTML5, they might come back and focus on the poor neglected baby that it is….it is awesome and we’ve invested a lot of our time/resources as an ISV into this technology….but it is great….

  • Thomas Gamble

    WOW! Interesting news! News long expected!!!