web 2.0

News: Windows Phone 7 Phones Running Silverlight

Silverlight 3 Is Released To The Web

Microsoft released Silverlight 3 to the web several hours ago. This I believe marks the first business-ready development platform since its inception in 2007. There are tons and tons of new features, much needed for a long time, kudos to Silverlight team. They have done a good job in rapidly delivering powerful features to Silverlight. Who has ever thought a small team of people could deliver so many best features in such a short timeframe? There are improvements in all categories whether it is video/media, 2D and 3D graphics, data access, GUI controls, desktop environment, networking and more.

You might want to check out ScottGu's blog post for more info.


Silverlight Tools For Visual Studio
Additional Silverlight Toolkit Controls
Expression Studio 3 RC + Sketchflow RC

What's New In Silverlight 3

According to Microsoft:

Fully supported by Visual Studio and Expression Blend, highlights of new features and functionality of Silverlight 3 include: major media enhancements, out of browser support allowing Web applications to work on the desktop; significant graphics improvements including 3D graphics support, GPU acceleration and H.264 video support; and many features to improve RIA development productivity. Also, in order to fully integrate all the .NET developer tools, Visual Studio 2010 will support a fully editable and interactive designer for Silverlight. New features in Silverlight 3 include:

  • Support for Higher Quality Video & Audio. With support for native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline, Silverlight 3 brings rich, full-screen, stutter-free media experiences to the desktop. New and enhanced media features in Silverlight 3 include:
    • Live and on-demand true HD (720p+) Smooth Streaming. IIS Media Services (formerly IIS Media Pack), an integrated HTTP media delivery platform, features Smooth Streaming which dynamically detects and seamlessly switches, in real time, the video quality of a media file delivered to Silverlight based on local bandwidth and CPU conditions.
    • More format choice. In addition to native support for VC-1/WMA, Silverlight 3 now offers users native support for MPEG-4-based H.264/AAC Audio, enabling content distributors to deliver high-quality content to a wide variety of computers and devices.
    • True HD playback in full-screen. Leveraging graphics processor unit (GPU) hardware acceleration, Silverlight experiences can now be delivered in true full-screen HD (720p+).
    • Extensible media format support. With the new Raw AV pipeline, Silverlight can easily support a wide variety of third-party codecs. Audio and video can be decoded outside the runtime and rendered in Silverlight, extending format support beyond the native codecs.
    • Industry leading content protection. Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady Content Protection enables protected in-browser experiences using AES encryption or Windows Media DRM.
  • Empowering Richer Experiences. Silverlight 3 contains new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements that enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals. Additional features include:
    • Perspective 3D Graphics. Silverlight 3 allows developers and designers to apply content to a 3D plane. Users can rotate or scale live content in space without writing any additional code. Other effects include creating a queue in 3D and transitions.
    • Pixel Shader effects. These software based effects include blur and drop shadow. In addition, you can also write your own effect. Effects can be applied to any graphical content. An example would be to make a button appear depressed on rollover you could use a drop shadow effect on the pressed visual state.
    • Bitmap Caching. Silverlight 3 dramatically improves the rendering performance of applications by allowing users to cache vector content, text and controls into bitmaps. This feature is useful for background content and for content which needs to scale without making changes to its internal appearance.
    • New Bitmap API. With Silverlight 3, developers can now write pixels to a bitmap. Thus, they can build a photo editor to do red eye correction, perform edits on scanned documents or create specials effects for cached bitmaps from elements on the screen.
    • Themed application support. Developers can now theme applications by applying styles to their Silverlight 3 applications and changing them at runtime. Additionally, developers can cascade styles by basing them on each other.
    • Animation Effects. Silverlight 3 provides new effects such as spring and bounce. These make animation more natural. Developers can also now develop their own mathematical functions to describe an animation.
    • Enhanced control skinning. Silverlight 3 provides easier skinning capabilities by keeping a common set of controls external from an application. This allows the sharing of styles and control skins between different applications.
    • Improved text rendering & font support. Silverlight 3 allows far more efficient rendering and rapid animation of text. Applications also load faster by enabling the use of local fonts.
  • Improving Rich Internet Application Productivity. New features include:
    • 60+ controls with source code : Silverlight 3 is packed with over 60 high-quality, fully skinnable and customizable out-of-the-box controls such as charting and media, new layout containers such as dock and viewbox, and controls such as autocomplete, treeview and datagrid. The controls come with nine professional designed themes and the source code can be modified/recompiled or utilized as-is. Other additions include multiple selection in listbox controls, file save dialog making it easier to write files, and support for multiple page applications with navigation.
    • Deep Linking. Silverlight 3 includes support for deep linking, which enables bookmarking a page within a RIA.
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Silverlight 3 enables users to solve the SEO-related challenges posed by RIAs. By utilizing business objects on the server, together with ASP.NET controls and site maps, users can automatically mirror database-driven RIA content into HTML that is easily indexed by the leading search engines.
    • Enhanced Data Support Silverlight 3 delivers:
      • Element to Element binding : UI designers use binding between two UI properties to create compelling UI experiences. Silverlight now enables property binding to CLR objects and other UI components via XAML, for instance binding a slider value to the volume control of a media player.
      • Data Forms. The Data Form control provides support for layout of fields, validation, updating and paging through data.
      • New features for data validation which automatically catch incorrect input and warn the user with built-in validation controls.
      • Support for business objects on both client and server with n-Tier data support. Easily load, sort, filter and page data with added support for working with data. Includes a new built-in CollectionView to perform a set of complex operations against server side data. A new set of .NET RIA services supports these features on the server.
    • Improved performance, through:
      • Application library caching, which reduces the size of applications by caching framework on the client in order to improve rendering performance.
      • Enhanced Deep Zoom, allows users to fluidly navigate through larger image collections by zooming.
      • Binary XML allows communication with the server to be compressed, greatly increasing the speed at which data can be exchanged.
      • Local Connection This feature allows communication between two Silverlight applications on the client-side without incurring a server roundtrip: for instance a chart in one control can communicate with a datagrid in another.
  • Advanced Accessibility Features. Silverlight 3 is the first browser plug-in to provide access to all system colors, allowing partially-sighted people to make changes such as high contrast color schemes for ease of readability by using familiar operating system controls.
  • Out of Browser Capabilities. The new out of browser experience in Silverlight 3 enables users to place their favorite Silverlight applications directly onto their PC and Mac, with links on the desktop and start menu—all without the need to download an additional runtime or browser plug-in. Further, the new experience enables Silverlight applications to work whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not—a radical improvement to the traditional Web experience. Features include:
    • Life outside the browser. Silverlight applications can now be installed to and run from the desktop as lightweight web companions. Thus, users can take their favorite Web applications with them, regardless of whether they are connected to the Internet or not.
    • Desktop shortcuts and start menu support. Silverlight applications can be stored on any PC or Mac computer’s desktop with links in the start menu and applications folder, and so are available with one-click access.
    • Safe and secure. Leveraging the security features of the .NET Framework, Silverlight applications run inside a secure sandbox with persistent isolated storage. These applications have most of the same security restrictions as traditional web apps and so can be trusted without security warnings or prompts, minimizing user interruptions.
    • Smooth installation. Because Silverlight applications are stored in a local cache and do not require extra privileges to run, the installation process is quick and efficient.
    • Auto-update. Upon launch, Silverlight applications can check for new versions on the server, and automatically update if one is found.
    • Internet connectivity detection. Silverlight applications can now detect whether they have Internet connectivity and can react intelligently including caching a users’ data until their connection is restored.

New Features in Expression Blend 3: The designer-developer workflow took another major step forward today with major innovations in Expression Blend 3 including: SketchFlow, a rapid prototyping capability that makes it easy to communicate design intent to stakeholders; design time sample data that enables the design and testing of applications without access to live data; direct import of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files; behaviors, extensible and reusable components that add interactivity to applications without writing code; a full code editor supporting C#, VB and XAML; and many more features that support an improved design and development experience. Features include:

  • SketchFlow. SketchFlow introduces a new set of features designed to make it easier for you to experiment with dynamic user experiences and create compelling prototypes. SketchFlow also helps communicate design ideas to other stakeholders, and makes it easier to collect in-context annotated feedback. SketchFlow enables the navigation and composition of an application to be modeled in a very visual manner from a simple prototype that uses a series of sketches, to something much more evolved. A prototype can be made as real and interactive as it needs to be to communicate design intent and SketchFlow can leverage all the existing features of Expression Blend.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator import. The powerful importers for both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator enable smooth integration with workflows the designer already has in place. The designer has freedom to view and import Photoshop files layer by layer. Layers can be easily regrouped and elements retain their original formats; layers, layer positions, editable text and vectors remain available for editing within Expression Blend.
  • Behaviors. Add interactivity to your application, without having to write code. Behaviors can encapsulate complex design interactions into reusable components which can be directly applied to a user interface element in the application. Developers have access to a rich API that they can use to write their own triggers, actions, and behaviors for use in their Silverlight and WPF projects.
  • Sample data. Design time sample data makes it easy to build data-connected applications without access to live data. You can generate sample data or import sample data from an XML file and is available to controls on the artboard at design-time. You can extensively customize your sample data details, and you can easily switch between using sample data and using live data at run-time.
  • Improved design and development experience. Expression Blend 3 includes many features that improve the overall design experience including a brand new design surface making Blend more accessible to visual designers. Team Foundation Server support allows easier integration of the Blend user into Team System. Improved animation and easing functions, 3D transforms, visual effects and an improved visual state manager enable a great tooling experience.



News | Silverlight 3

Silverlight 3 Is Too Good To Be True But It Is TRUE

Shortly after Silverlight 2 was out for development pleasures, we asked for a lot of things from Silverlight team. I myself asked for several features that I thought were most needed for killer applications. Hundreds of Silverlight developers joined in and wished for a trillion of features more. Then I was highly doubt that Silverlight team would deliver all of those, because it was like a million children sending wish letters to Santa Claus. And guess what, they have done it! They have delivered most of the requested features and then some right in Silverlight 3 Beta which is now available for download.

What’s New in Silverlight 3? More controls, support for more media codecs, perspective 3D, pixel shader APIs, animation effects, GPU 3D acceleration, text improvements, element-to-element binding, LocalConnection API, SaveFileDialog, assembly caching, network monitoring API, out-of-browser detachment, standalone desktop application, .NET RIA services, binary XML and additional features, too many to list them all in one post. I'm going to write more detail samples and demos in the upcoming days. Meanwhile, Tim Heuer has more in his blog post A guide to Silverlight 3 new features.


Silverlight 3 Beta Tools for Visual Studio - Includes everything from SDK, project templates to developer runtime for Visual Studio user.
Silverlight 3 Beta Developer Runtimes - Windows or Mac.
Silverlight Toolkit - Extra controls.
Microsoft Expression Blend 3 Preview
Silverlight 3 Beta Documentations - Online or Offline (CHM File).


News | Silverlight 3

Silverlight Runtime For Linux Is Available

In collaboration with Microsoft, Novell today released the version 1.0 of Moonlight for major Linux distros including openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and likely other distros as well. With Moonlight 1.0 plugin installed in Firefox, Linux users can now run Silverlight 1.0 applications without a fuss. Miguel de Icaza, Novell's Vice President of Developer Platform, said in a blog post that his team was working hard to roll out the next version of Moonlight which will be able to run Silverlight 2.0 applications. Moonlight 2.0 is right around the corner, as the current pre-Alpha build of Moonlight 2.0 can already run some Silverlight 2.0 demo applications.

I think we are witnessing a major breakthrough today, as Silverlight is becoming a true cross-platform. Does it matter? Yes, it does. We will just develop our Silverlight application once, it will run anywhere whether it is on the web, mobile or desktop; whether the operating system is Windows, Mac, Linux, or Symbian.

For Linux users, you can download Moonlight plug-in for your browser at http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight/


Flash, You're Fired!

This is not going to be funny for those readers who have got fired lately. Fifty tech specialists likely Flash's at Netflix are expected to be let go in January 2009. It's not about the world's economy. It's about Silverlight. Here is what Steve Swasey, Netflix VP of corporate communications, has to say:

"For those of you who watch movies instantly on your PC or Mac, you may have noticed our player is much easier to install and use now with Silverlight. The good news is fewer problems for you. The bad news is that we are now overstaffed with technical specialists in our Customer Service (CS) group."

"The tech support folks have been underutilized. They’re specialists and the calls are able to be managed by our main Customer Service group, which continues to grow. In January we will add at least as many people to the main CS group as we’re letting go from the tech group."

This is a chilling message for Flash folks. Either they have to adapt or be unemployed.



Silverlight 3 To Get 3D And Then Some

To be released next year, Silverlight 3 will get major improvements in media and graphics. It is going to get 3D support and GPU hardware acceleration. 3D games and applications will simply run on the web, how cool is that? Maybe, just maybe, Web 3.0 would go three dimensions in mainstream because of Silverlight. Liden Lab would create Second Life Web Edition using Silverlight. Or maybe I'm letting my imagination run wild with all these web-based 3D social networking and web browsing.

Besides 3D, Silverlight is going to play H.264 video and include a zillion of new controls. But this is not it. It is still too early to tell whether Silverlight 3 will come with a free lunch or not. Scott Guthrie hinted that Silverlight team has surprises in store for you. So stay tuned.


News | Silverlight 3

Silverlight Statistics - One In Four Can Run Silverlight

Scott Guthrie breaks the silence today with an update on Silverlight download statistics. Silverlight 2 runtime has been downloaded over 100 million times in only four weeks! That translates roughly into one in four computers on the internet. This number should put a big smile on every Silverlight developer. I mean, what is better than that?

The adoption of Silverlight 2 is strong. TV stations around the world, to name a few, FranceTV, NOS, Sportbox.ru and RAI, are switching from Flash to Silverlight to take advantages of Silverlight video streaming and its lower CTO. America Online recently launched AOL Mail using Silverlight 2. Even Blockbuster and Netflix are rolling out their own Silverlight video players possibly to replace Flash. Who wouldn't use Silverlight when it can save thousands of dollars on streaming?


News | Tutorial

My Wish List For Future Silverlight Release

I have been eagerly waiting for the final release of Silverlight 2. And now it is here before the schedule. Kudos to Silverlight team.

There are a few things on my wish list that are not yet here though:

  1. Unrestricted outbound socket communication, where the policy file is not needed, and port range extended to cover FTP, SMTP, POP and other important ports. This will allow developers to create serious Silverlight applications and to beat Flash hand downs.
  2. Bitmap drawing and rendering, so that we can develop face recognition, photo editing, and other drawing-related software. Our developers desperately need this to create a Logo and Button Generator in Silverlight. Some customers want to get some cool effects off Bitmap Pixel Shading too.
  3. Non-blurry text. It is quite distracting to read text in Silverlight application, since it's all blurry. The anti-aliasing is too much. The problem is rooted down to WPF, more specifically in the way it renders text to favor positioning accuracy over legibility. More info
  4. Support for Khmer language. This is a bit personal, since I'm a Cambodian and would like to see some progress for Cambodia IT, as it is stuck between the incompatibilities and supports. Unicode has finalized the Khmer characters standard years ago, and Vista has officially supported it. But .NET, WPF and Silverlight don't render Khmer text correctly, as these technologies don't go well with the Microsoft Uniscribe Engine and GDI+. More info

Hopefully these things got off my wish list some day (by actual implementations). Anyhow, today is a milestone for Silverlight. The web landscape will be changed forever.


Silverlight 2.0

Final Silverlight 2 Released

Silverlight team has made it finally. Silverlight 2, SDK and runtimes are now available for download.

Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008

Silverlight 2 Developer Runtime (Windows)

Silverlight 2 Developer Runtime (Mac)

Silverlight 2 SDK offline documentation (CHM)

Expression Blend 2 SP1  

Here is the full press release from Microsoft:



News | Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight 2.0 RC0 Is Available

Microsoft has just released the Silverlight 2.0 RC0. Unlike the Beta 2 release, Release Candidate 0 is intended for developers only. It could be used to ensure that current Beta 2 applications will be compatible with Silverlight 2 full version. Accoding to Scott Guthrie, a ship load of bugs have been fixed, blocks of code have been heavily optimized for performance, yet it also manages to cramp three more controls as bonus: ComboBox, ProgressBar and PasswordBox. More new controls, including TreeView , are expected to come out within the next few months.

Here are some important links:

Microsoft® Silverlight™ Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (RC0)

Microsoft Expression Blend 2 SP1 RC Preview

Breaking Changes Since Beta 2

Note that you'll need to uninstall previous Silverlight tools and runtimes in prior to installing new tools.


News | Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 Is Released

Finally Silverlight Beta 2 is released with lots of improvements and new features, yet the runtime setup file is about 4.6 MB with core controls included! Amazing! If you're using Visual Studio 2008, download the Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 2 For VS 2008. This package includes everything from SDK, runtime, to VS 2008 projects and add-ins. Expression Blend 2.5 June Preview is also available for download today. It's a must have for designing the UI.

Noticely the web client and socket have the support for cross domain networking. Though it still requires the annoying XML policy file that must be explicitly created on the target servers before the magic happens. Scott Guthrie has more about the new features.



News | Silverlight 2.0

Load Bitmap Image From Resource in a Single Line of Code

If you read my recent article "How to Get Files From Resources in Silverlight 2.0", you'll see that loading a file embedded as resource takes only a few lines of code. You also have to remember the formats of the URI. Well, that is going to change today, because now you'll need to write just a single line of developer-friendly code.More...

Tags: ,

Silverlight 2.0 | Tutorial

How to Get Files From Resources in Silverlight 2.0

Questions like "How to load an embedded bitmap programmatically?" appear in Silverlight.net forum every single day, and some people actually think it is impossible to do such thing in Silverlight 2.0. Well, the truth is that not only is it possible but it is also damn easy.More...

Tags: ,

Silverlight 2.0 | Tutorial

VectorLight Controls for Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1



I think the competition in Silverlight Controls market will be fierce. Just under a few months, developers have created a handful of UI controls for Silverlight 2.0 already. Well, some like VectorLight provides it for free with full source code (maybe for now?). The VectorLight's controls set include Calendar, Dropdown List, Fieldset, ListBox, Textbox, TextArea, Tree View, Progress Bar, and Text Label.

VectorLight Controls Demo 


Controls | Demos | Silverlight 2.0

Restrictions of Sockets in Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1

As expected, Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 was released hours ago, and it comes with Socket Networking support. Silverlight applications can now make direct/persistent connections to remote server. There are however some restrictions:

  • Supports only TCP.
  • Connect to only site or host of origin. (Temporary restriction until future release of Silverlight 2.0)
  • Connect to only port range of 4502-4532.
Maybe there are some more. It is a bit early to list them all here.

Tags: ,

News | Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 Is Available For Download

Like I told you guys over the past few weeks, Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 was to be released on March 05. Yes, confirmed! Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1.0 run-time binaries, SDK, source code and documentation are now available for download. Thanks to coolio for his compilation of links.

If you're developing Silverlight applications in Visual Studio 2008, you should download Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for VS2008 and Expression Blend 2.5 March Preview.

Microsoft Silverlight Tools Beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008 (This package contains VS2008 add-on, run-time binaries,  SDK, documentation and samples)

Expression Blend 2.5 March Preview:


Silverlight 2 Beta 1 runtime for Windows:

Silverlight 2 Beta 1 runtime for Mac OS X:

Controls Source Code:


Online documentation:


Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 is not compatible with Silverlight 1.1. Therefore, you might have to uninstall the following components first before installing that of Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1:

  • Previous version of Silverlight runtime.
  • Previous version of Silverlight SDK.
  • Previous version of Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio.
  • Visual Studio Update KB949325



News | Silverlight 2.0

Nokia Phones to Run Silverlight Applications

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced plans to make Microsoft Silverlight available for S60 on Symbian OS, the world's leading smartphone software(1), as well as for Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets.  Adding support for Silverlight will extend opportunities for developers to create rich, interactive applications that run on multiple platforms in a consistent and reliable way.
"Today's consumers are very clear in what they want: easy access to tightly integrated services and data on any device," said Lee Williams, Senior Vice President in Nokia's Devices software organization. "Nokia's software strategy is based on cross-platform development environments, enabling the creation of rich applications across the Nokia device range.  Nokia aims to support market leading and content rich internet application environments and to embrace and encourage open innovation. By working with Microsoft, we are creating terrific opportunities and additional choices for the development community, S60 licensees and the industry as a whole."

Tags: ,

News | Silverlight 2.0

Expression Blend March Preview to be released with Silverlight 2 Beta 1

Scott Guthrie just blogged about the Expression Blend 2.5 March Preview minutes ago. Expression Blend 2.5, which adds support for new Silverlight controls, is to be released as a free preview at the same time Silverlight 2 Beta 1 goes public. You should take a take look at his blog post for details.


News | Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight 2.0 will support Socket and Cross-Domain Networking

In case you missed the recent Scott Guthrie's blog post on Silverlight 2.0, there are going to be some cool developments in Silverlight 2.0 Beta1, which is to be released before March 05 2008. I like the fact that direct socket networking is supported. Better yet, cross-domain access is also supported. These two features alone will allow Silverlight developers to create rich Client-Server applications. Basically, a Silverlight 2.0 application will get the privileges of what a desktop application has, in terms of networking. Creating live chatting application in Silverlight is now possible, so are stock trading terminal, remote desktop client, multi-player game, grid computing client,  FTP client, streaming real-time chart, etc. With the help of new 'local storage' support, creating a full-featured BitTorrent P2P client might be a reality. And yes, those new built-in controls will help us create UI applications much quicker. Isn't this super exciting? 

Scott mentioned many other things:More...

Tags: ,

News | Silverlight 2.0

Silverlight Libraries Source Code Will Be Available

On January 17 2008, Scott Guthrie announced the availability of .NET Framework Source Code under read-only reference for debugging purposes. That was great news indeed for .NET developers especially for those who had used .NET Reflector. This will solve a lot of debugging mysteries behind the "[External Code]" in the call stack. But hold on a sec, there is greater news for Silverlight developers, the source code of Silverlight libraries will be available as well according to his reply to our comment. I asked him if Silverlight source code could be opened. "Yes - we'll be releasing the source and enabling debugging for the Silverlight libraries as well once they ship." he replied. Although his reply is not an official announcement, it significantly leverages the possibility of having Silverlight source released.More...


News | Silverlight 2.0

Open File Dialog in Silverlight

Silverlight 2.0 Alpha introduced OpenFileDialog control which allows Silverlight applications to open and read *local* files outside Isolated Storage. It's better than the HTML <input> tag which is widely used for uploading files in web page. Well, like HTML <input>, OpenFileDialog could be used to build a file uploader quickly. Both must prompt user to select files. But unlike HTML <input>, OpenFileDialog control could be used to read and process the file data locally in Silverlight application. This is pretty powerful since Silverlight application will not need to upload the files to server for processing. What's more is that OpenFileDialog allows user to select multiple files at once. No need to create multiple instances of OpenFileDialog for that. Let's see some examples:More...


Silverlight 1.1 | Silverlight 2.0 | Tutorial