Silverlight 4: Beta Announced at PDC

Today during his PDC keynote ScottGu announced the beta of Silverlight 4. That includes previews of;

Of course, your one-stop-shop for all things Silverlight should still be but here’s a shortcut to the download to get all of the bits;

and you should definitely check out Tim’s blog post for the full info.

It’s a very exciting release – there are a tonne of new features in Silverlight 4 itself that extend Silverlight’s existing abilities and especially in the realm of business applications. Some examples ( unordered );

  • the ability to run applications “Trusted” outside of the browser to allow Silverlight applications a richer integration with the local machine
  • the ability to take control of printing from a Silverlight application
  • the ability for a Silverlight application to interact with the local webcam and microphone
  • the ability for a Silverlight application to display notification ( “toast” ) windows and to have more control over its out-of-browser window
  • Silverlight applications acting as a drop target for drag operations
  • Silverlight applications having secure access to the clipboard
  • better support for copy-and-paste in Silverlight applications
  • increased networking support such as;
    • support for authentication in the client network stack
    • support for a TCP channel for WCF
    • support for UDP multicastingrich support for text ( and mixed content ) display with the new Rich Text Area control
  • support for HTML display and interaction with the new WebBrowser control
  • better data-binding with support for IDataErrorInfo and more
  • better mousewheel integration
  • support for right-to-left layouts to support more languages/cultures
  • improvements around DRM of media and how that works offline
  • integration of new C# and VB languages features ( like the C# 4 ‘dynamic’ ability )
  • control enhancements like enhancements to the DataGrid

and beyond that there’s also the WCF RIA Services Preview to add into the mix.

That’s a lot to think about 🙂 In the meantime, I’ve been making some rough notes on some of this new functionality in the form of blog posts that I’ll attempt to publish those here today/tomorrow – some of those are a little sketchy but hopefully it’ll provide a small kick-start around some of the new features.