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Microsoft rethinks Silverlight versioning scheme and plans to add more rich WPF features

Well, in case you hadn’t already read today, Scott Guthrie has announced a few things about some upcoming beta releases. One of the betas talked about is the next version of Silverlight which used to be labeled as version 1.1. Microsoft has rethought this strategy and is instead going to call it 2.0. If you ask me this is a great idea because the next version is such a major leap forward with the inclusion of the CLR and now a ton of the richer WPF features that it warranted way more than a minor version increase.

I’m super psyched to here that they’re really taking a much richer subset of WPF and putting it in Silverlight. If it’s going to be touted for building next-gen rich apps, it really needed to be more than a glorified canvas. Scott mentioned that the next beta includes:

  • Extensible control framework model – I wonder if it will be the exact same model as WPF (e.g. FrameworkElement -> UIElement -> Control)
  • Layout manager support – hopefully this means the Arrange/Measure pattern from WPF is included now so we can implement panels
  • Two-way data-binding supportthe data-binding architecture of WPF is one of it’s most powerful selling points if you ask me
  • Templating – make all your <Button>s appear as rotating 3D cubes! 🙂
  • “Skinning” – hopefully this means the equivalent of WPF’s resource dictionaries

Scott also mentioned there will be support for WCF like features (e.g. REST, POX, WS-*). Also important to note is that there will be support for cross-domain network access! Finally, he mentions that we can expect to see a Go-Live Beta of Silverlight 2.0 in 2008.

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