.NET Web Product Roadmap (ASP.NET, Silverlight, IIS7)
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by Scott Guthrie
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Silverlight 2.0 Release

Two months ago we shipped Silverlight 1.0 for Mac and Windows, and announced our plans to deliver Silverlight on Linux.  Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a browser, and supports a JavaScript/AJAX programming model.

Next year we will be releasing a major update of Silverlight that focuses on enabling rich Internet applications.  This release will include a cross-platform, cross-browser version of the .NET Framework, and will enable a rich .NET development platform in the browser.  Earlier this year we shipped an early Alpha containing some of the basic functionality of the release.  Our next public preview will add considerably to this feature set.  Some of the new .NET specific features in the next public Silverlight preview will include:

WPF UI Framework

The current Silverlight Alpha release only includes basic controls support and a managed API for UI drawing.  The next public Silverlight preview will add support for the higher level features of the WPF UI framework.  These include: the extensible control framework model, layout manager support, two-way data-binding support, and control template and skinning support.  The WPF UI Framework features in Silverlight will be a compatible subset of the WPF UI Framework features in last week's .NET Framework 3.5 release.

Rich Controls

Silverlight will deliver a rich set of controls that make building Rich Internet Applications much easier.  The next Silverlight preview release will add support for core form controls (textbox, checkbox, radiobutton, etc), built-in layout management controls (StackPanel, Grid, etc), common functionality controls (TabControl, Slider, ScrollViewer, ProgressBar, etc) and data manipulation controls (DataGrid, etc).

Rich Networking Support

Silverlight will deliver rich networking support.  The next Silverlight preview release will add support for REST, POX, RSS, and WS* communication.  It will also add support for cross domain network access (so that Silverlight clients can access resources and data from any trusted source on the web).

Rich Base Class Library Support

Silverlight will include a rich .NET base class library of functionality (collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc).  The next Silverlight preview release will also add built-in support for LINQ to XML and richer HTML DOM API integration.

Previously we've been referring to this .NET-enabled Silverlight release as "Silverlight V1.1".  After stepping back and looking at all the new features in it (the above list is only a subset - there are many more we aren't sharing yet), we've realized that calling it a point release doesn't really reflect the true nature of it.  Consequently we have decided to change the name and refer to it as "Silverlight V2.0" going forward.

We will be releasing a Beta of Silverlight 2.0 in Q1 of 2008.  This Beta will support a Go-Live license that enables developers to begin building and deploying Silverlight 2.0 applications.

We will also be releasing a free Visual Studio 2008 tools update that provides great Silverlight 2.0 tools support within Visual Studio 2008, and enables developers to easily build Silverlight applications using any .NET language.  We will be supporting Silverlight development with both the Visual Studio 2008 Standard/Professional products, as well as with the free Visual Studio 2008 Express editions.

I'm going to be starting a new blog tutorial series in a few weeks that discusses how to build Silverlight 2.0 applications, and show off the new features in more depth.  Stay tuned for more details soon.


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