Editor's Note: This article is written
about Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1. Topics covered in this article may change in
newer versions of Silverlight.
With the introduction of Silverlight 2.0 beta 1 at MIX08 in
March, the infant Silverlight platform took a big step forward. It now has rich
support for data binding. It has a vastly increased subset of WPF's UI engine.
It even has radical new technologies like Deep Zoom. But most importantly, Silverlight
2.0 beta 1 introduces a brand new collection of built-in UI controls.
The new UI controls are not a surprise, but they are a key
milestone in Silverlight's maturation. Microsoft has always shipped platform
technologies with a collection of built-in controls, and beta 1 ushers in that
era for Silverlight. Developers evaluating the platform as an alternative to
building applications in ASP.NET or WinForms can now seriously consider it
since it has the beginnings of the complete UI productivity toolbox.
The UI controls introduced in Silverlight 2 beta 1, though,
are unique in many ways from the controls that precede it. They are shipping
with an unprecedented licensing model (for Microsoft UI controls, that is) and
are doing many things with XAML controls that WPF has yet to produce
(eh..hem…DataGrid). In this article, we'll look at each of the 29 UI controls
that ship in Silverlight 2 beta 1 and introduce you to their features, unique
properties, and talk about some of the shortcomings in the current versions of