Silverlight Framework - All Historical Tool Releases and What is New
Abstract: This article looks at all the major historical Silverlight and related technology releases. Plus I look at what was recently announced at the PDC 2010 and evaluate Silverlight support for new technologies.
Much has been said about Silverlight being deprecated, repurposed or even "dead" by the media and fellow bloggers. In this article I wanted to look at a timeline of all the releases Microsoft and others have made that relate to Silverlight. I also wanted to take a look at some of the recent and upcoming releases for the Silverlight framework.
Timeline History of Silverlight
Below is a timeline of all the Silverlight related releases. I included a bullet list with details. Click here for a large to see image.
Note: Only the major releases are highlighted below
- 09/2007 - Silverlight 1.0
- 10/2008 - Silverlight 2.0, Expression Blend 2 SP1, Silverlight Control Toolkit
- 03/2009 - Silverlight Control Toolkit (200903)
- 07/2009 - Silverlight 3.0, Expression Blend 3 + Sketchflow, Silverlight Control Toolkit (200907)
- 11/2009 - Silverlight Control Toolkit (200911)
- 12/2009 - Bing Maps Silverlight Control
- 01/2010 - Microsoft Silverlight Media Framework 1.x
- 04/2010 - Silverlight 4.0, Silverlight 4 Toolkit, WCF RIA Services 1.0, Visual Studio 2010 Support, F# Support, MEF Support, WCF Data Services, Silverlight Unit Test Framework
- 05/2010 - Prism 2.2 for Silverlight 4
- 06/2010 - SharePoint 2010 (Native web part support & Silverlight client for SP data), Silverlight Smooth Streaming Client
- 07/2010 - Microsoft Silverlight Media Framework 2.x
- 06/2010 - Expression Blend 4 RTM, Silverlight PivotViewer 1.x, Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework 1.x
- 09/2010 - Windows Phone 7 Silverlight SDK, Blend for WP7, WP7 Control Toolkit
So whats the point? As you can see the investments in Silverlight have been accelerating rapidly. It would be a complete 180 for Microsoft to deprecate or ditch this technology. Future will tell if Microsoft will support these technologies.
What is New upcoming with Silverlight? (PDC 2010 stuff you probably missed)
There was NO Silverlight at the PDC. Wrong! A lot of frameworks, tooling outside the "major" Silverlight releases really fly under the radar. Below I noted some things that are new and some of the releases that Microsoft has updated in the last month or so for Silverlight.
- WCF RIA Services SP1 Beta:
- WCF RIA Services (October 2010 Toolkit for RIA Services SP1):
- Visual Studio Async CTP
- Next-gen preview of C#/VB.NET features that allow easier asynchronous programming techniques. INCLUDES a Silverlight library that support Task based declerative parallelism (very cool stuff)
- Note: The default example is written for......Silverlight 4 :)
- Announced that WPF will be able to host Silverlight content natively
- This is a pretty neat ability. Imagine writing a Silverlight app and being able to host it on the web, web parts and in WPF
- IIS Media Services 4.0 Released
Honorable mention goes to the WCF Web APIs
. How is this related to Silverlight? Well, if you listened to Glenn Block's PDC presentation he mentioned that Microsoft is embracing the REST standard over the WS* (SOAP) standards. Silverlight did not support WS* services. This is nice, because now Silverlight can easily be utilized in SOA initiatives based on REST.
Is Microsoft Supporting the other Silverlight related frameworks?
You be the judge....some recent releases
- Silverlight Bing Maps Control: 06/2010 (1.01 release)
- Silverlight PivotViewer Control: 09/08/2010 (1.01 release)
- Silverlight Media Framework: 10/04/2010 (2.2 release)
- Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework: 10/09/2010 (1.47 release)
- Prism v4: 10/14/2010 (Drop 10)
As you can see there were some Silverlight related announcements/releases that where overshadowed by the whole Silverlight drama that occurred. I hope you guys can use this to show other peers or senior management that Microsoft's investment in Silverlight has been very strong. In addition, Microsoft has a lot of new things coming out that amplify their investment in Silverlight. I would say that Silverlight is hardly dead and the amount of Silverlight related technologies is only accelerating! :)