Silverlight application development provides a retained mode graphics system similar to Windows Presentation Foundation, and integrates multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into a single runtime environment. In Silverlight application development, user interfaces are declared in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) and programmed using a subset of the .NET Framework. XAML can be used for marking up the vector graphics and animations. Textual content created with Silverlight is searchable and indexable by search engines as it is not compiled, but represented as text (XAML). Silverlight can also be used to create Windows Sidebar gadgets for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Over the years Silverlight has evolved at the development labs of Microsoft and now is into its fourth year with third stable release back in July, 2009 and a beta version Silverlight 4 soon to be launched as a stable version. The first version of Silverlight aimed to give a rich Internet experience to the user by providing features like graphics, animation, and multimedia. Silverlight 4 has come a long way since its first version to be really a fully featured rich Internet application platform. Here is what’s new in Microsoft Silverlight 4:
- Web cam and microphone support.
- A full keyboard access.
- The application supports running on full screen mode giving an awesome experience.
- Elevated trust and support for local Common Object Model (COM).
- Enhanced RichTextBox and DataGrid controls.
- New support for creating application themes and applying them.
- New hosted browser support to render HTML inside Silverlight.
- Clipboard with drag and drop support.
- Deep Zoom performance enhancements.
- Multi-touch support.
With these, and some more tweaks to the features and functionality Microsoft Silverlight 4 is ready to take the RIA development world by storm and create a humongous fan following.