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Microsoft Programming

Silverlight 5 Released 107

New submitter CaptSlaq sends word that Silverlight 5 has been released. Microsoft has not revealed whether it will be the last version. "New features in Silverlight 5 include Hardware Decode of H.264 media, which provides a significant performance improvement with decoding of unprotected content using the GPU; Postscript Vector Printing to improve output quality and file size; and an improved graphics stack with 3D support that uses the XNA API on the Windows platform to gain low-level access to the GPU for drawing vertex shaders and low-level 3D primitives. In addition, Silverlight 5 extends the ‘Trusted Application’ model to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks such as multiple window support, full trust support in browser including COM and file system access, in browser HTML hosting within Silverlight, and P/Invoke support for existing native code to be run directly from Silverlight."
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Silverlight 5 Released

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  • by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:01PM (#38319666)
    and Silverlight will go the way of mobile Flash. Plug-ins simply must die for the web to thrive in the future.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by thedonger ( 1317951 )

      and Silverlight will go the way of mobile Flash. Plug-ins simply must die for the web to thrive in the future.

      Silverlight is actually a pretty cool way to handle data in ways tedious or unwieldy in HTML or Xml/Xslt. And if you work for a company totally wrapped up in Microsoft technology and you find you have this requirement for an internal application, I say run with it. I do agree, however, that requiring plug-ins for end users, particularly infrequent or uneducated ones, is a bad practice. But give the browser market two or three years - in which time I expect a radical shift in consuming web-based content - an

      • Silverlight is a bit player at best. Nobody actually gives a crap, and everyone's praying for Flash to die as it is, and certainly not going to jump on some other plugin's bandwagon.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by bonch ( 38532 )

          Oh, well fuck his opinion then.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            As of about 2 years ago Flash was our main development platform for web applications. We still have clients that demand IE 6 support so in those cases Flash was always the better option to ensure a fast development cycle that works on 90%+ of browsers. Especially since each version of IE counts as a separate testing platform.

            Now, however, we're moving away from flash at a *rapid* pace. Why? Mostly Mobile. Flash is *terrible* on mobile, where it's supported. My opinion is that Flash is only on mobile to allo

    • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:11PM (#38319806) Homepage Journal
      Except things like Netflix... if Silverlight or Flash didn't exist, you couldn't watch Hollywood movies or TV shows because the studios simply will not allow their content to be shown on the web without some kind of a DRM.
      • I would argue that the reason support (as is the option to use, not requirement to use) for DRM hasn't been a priority for HTML5 or other standards is because of the crutch these plug-ins provide. Why bother implementing it through a complicated process and implementation when 95%+ of browser have a plug-in that can do it already, and damn the users who have to deal with the bugs, poor performance, and lack of wide OS support. And frankly if Silverlight or Flash disappeared tomorrow I don't think even the M
      • As we've seen with the Pirate Bay though, whether or not the studios allow it or not has no bearing on the content being available online. All it has a bearing on is whether or not people will pay for it or not. Music piracy used to be the big thing - now with iTunes and Amazon, they're available to purchase cheaply, easily, in a compatible format. Now, most people I know just buy it legit. There's no reason not to.

        • by pacinpm ( 631330 )

          There's no reason not to.

          There is one:

          We could not process your order. The sale of MP3 Downloads is currently available only to US customers located in the United States.

          We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

      • Not in all cases. Netflix on Mac and Windows may use silverlight, but it is just H.264 streaming on the mobile platforms like iOS.
      • by devent ( 1627873 )

        If SL or Flash wouldn't exists and Netflix would just use standard HTML5 with no DRM, then I would watch it. But as of now I just go to google.com and enter torrent and watch it a day later. (Also if they just get in their heads that in the global internet a limitation on country does not make sense anymore. I don't care if the shows are in English or German, I just want a convenient way of viewing them.)

        What happens with Apple iTunes and DRM? The music studios were so happy how it went with the forced DRM

    • by slapout ( 93640 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:14PM (#38319852)

      It's not necessarily that plug-ins must die -- they push the web in new directions. It's that HTML should take the good ideas that plug-ins come up with and make them part of the standard.

      • Assuming they can keep the good ideas and shed the bad parts of them at the same time of course. The vulnerabilities attached to many of Flash's features, would be even more disastrous if it were a standard feature of the browser.
      • Agreed, but the existence of these plug-ins, their ubiquity, and the prior monetary "support" provided by their creators has certainly slowed the growth and widespread interest in developing an open standard. Remember up until recently Adobe and MS were not big HTML5 supporters, despite being some of the key companies tasked with creating the standard. Its not a stretch to think they crippled it as much as they could to support their own products.
    • by petsounds ( 593538 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @07:37PM (#38320846)

      1) Plug-ins are a part of the HTML5 standard. The committee understands the two can co-exist and thrive.
      2) The web has been thriving for many years now with plug-ins. I think it'll do just fine.
      3) It was Flash that kept the progress of the web moving forward, when standards committee progress turned glacial. Go read about the history of Javascript. It's a sad tale, and that language is still 10 years behind Actionscript even though they are both based on the root ECMAScript language. Eventually Adobe had to go their own way with Actionscript because nothing was getting done.

      • I don't have any mod points or I would, but you have actual insightful information unlike the parent post.
        • The point wasn't that HTML5 is god, it was that plug-ins are by definition are exclusionary. Or is that not painfully obvious?
          • RAGE!! Grrr!!! So you think HTML5 is god? Did you reply to the wrong comment? Were you having a rage-conversation in your head when you replied to my comment? It baffles mes that you got all of that from my comment, which when it comes down to it states I agree with the insightful comment above, and definitely not your orignal and rather myopic comment.

            And great! Since you've spewed your fanaticism at me, I'll bite... So you're under the assumption that an optional plug-in is exclusionary? Really? Whe
            • Yes I think html5 is god... despite my entire topic sentence saying the opposite. A more reasonable question to you is, does the yeast you harvest off Mr Gate`s cock create enough bread too feed you and your mom/girlfriend ? Lemons knows
    • There's no "maybe" here, it's the plan. In Windows 8, Metro version of IE does not support any plugins. That includes Flash, and yes, that also includes Silverlight. HTML5 only.

      This means that Apple and MS are now in agreement to ditch browser plugins. That leaves Google with NaCl, but they seem to be promoting it mainly for "Chrome web apps", not as a way to extend regular browsing experience - and are also actively shifting their services to HTML5. The final nail is already in the coffin.

      • But you are missing the big IF here friend and that is IF MSFT can get people to take Windows 8, and from the now 170 customers I've shown it to I have gotten NOTHING but hate. they don't like it, they don't want it, they wanted to know if they got stuck with a Windows 8 machine " can you put Windows 7 on it?". hell the closest i got to an endorsement of Windows 8 was this: "That's a nice looking cell phone screen, is that Android? i heard its quite nice...what do you mean Windows? Windows what? Well that i

        • Why are you showing Windows 8 to your everyday shopping customers when it hasn't been even released yet? The only version out currently is a developers preview which intention is to let software developers to get to know the new system. It's far from finished and is going to dramatically change before release date.
          • If you HONESTLY think they are gonna gut the ENTIRE UI before release day? here is a cookie to go with the koolaid you have been drinking. as for why show it to them? well to generate buzz dummy! With the win 7 Beta I had plenty of customers asking me all kinds of things, like "How fast is it? Does it have cool stuff? Is it worth it?" and when RTM hit I had 5 new builds, more than a dozen installs waiting,it helped generate more buzz!!

            But I'm sorry if your a fanboy but win 8 is such a trainwreck its gonna

            • by Com2Kid ( 142006 )

              If you HONESTLY think they are gonna gut the ENTIRE UI before release day? here is a cookie to go with the koolaid you have been drinking. as for why show it to them?

              Actually the Start tiles experience was redesigned due to customer feedback about the Developer Preview.

              The concept is not going away, but the implementation is improving a lot before release.

              Compare the design after feedback [msdn.com] was taken into account to the earlier design [askvg.com]

              It was improved.

              I know this may surprise you, but Microsoft relies on selli

              • More than 35% of my customers are under 25, surprise surprise. I often have to sit down with "customers" as young as tweeners whose parents bring them in to get either their first desktop or more often a netbook/laptop so i get their feedback just like I do the older folks. And your "improvements"? Its a BIGGER cell phone, that's not improving, that's screen clutter!

                Look we'll see at RTM but Ballmer has made it VERY clear that he is pushing to try to get into the tablet market which frankly wouldn't take Wi

        • My point was simply that all major browser developers now agree that plugins are, generally speaking, a bad idea. This means that, long-term, both Flash and Silverlight on the web are dead. The popularity of Win8 is largely irrelevant here - if it won't win the market, then iOS will fill it, and end result is the same in long-term.

          Also, I hope you aren't charging those customers on whose machines you've installed Win8 - the license of the only version that is publicly available so far (which, I must add, is

        • From what I've been told silverlight is pretty damned powerful, after all it'd have to be to make an entire OS in a browser [silveos.com]. I'd love to see someone try to hack something that impressive together with just JavaScript!

          How about an actual, in-wide-use, open source OS? bellard.org/jslinux/ [slashdot.org]

      • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

        Metro IE lacking Silverlight support is kinda moot, as it can natively run XAML-based apps.

      • by JackAxe ( 689361 )
        Only Metro 8 for "Tablets" does not support anything but Microsoft's plug-in. This is not true for desktops. Windows 8 desktop supports all plug-in; and if and when that changes, computers are going to suck IMO, as that means they'll all be really locked down.
        • Only Metro 8 for "Tablets" does not support anything but Microsoft's plug-in.

          IE for Metro does not support any plugins, Microsoft or otherwise. IIRC, the only extensibility point there is the ability to install WebM codec from Google so that it is supported for HTML5 video.

          This is not true for desktops. Windows 8 desktop supports all plug-in

          That much is true. However, with all the talk of tablets taking over, you can safely assume that Metro version is what MS would like IE to be, whereas classic desktop version is what it has to be for the sake of backwards compatibility.

    • by RStonR ( 2471390 )
      Actually, given Microsoft's statement that "We have no obligation to return data to you." [in-other-news.com], that's very lightly.

      They still behave like they had a monopoly. But that days are over. The tactics that worked 10 years ago are now hurting them. And they don't seem to realize it.

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:01PM (#38319670)

    won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks such as multiple window support

    Is the intent to support a whole desktop environment inside the browser?

  • by laughing rabbit ( 216615 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:10PM (#38319790)
  • Is this going to break Netflix again?
  • I ask because I have never met a single soul that employs it. Never!

    But again, I agree that I am no geek. Could it be that case that I am using it without explicit knowledge, since I currently use Windows 7 Home Premium? I also know that Microsoft has tightly woven piece of software into Windows in the past.

    Maybe I am using it without specifically agreeing to use it. Is it the case?

    • by the linux geek ( 799780 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:16PM (#38319878)
      The multi-ton elephant in the room is Netflix.
    • You don't know anyone that streams Netflix on their computer?

      • You don't know anyone that streams Netflix on their computer?

        That's not so hard to imagine. Netflix doesn't have much penetration outside the US -- they don't expand to Europe until 2012, they just expanded to Latin America in September, and has been in Canada for only a year. I don't know about Latin America, but the Canadian selection is exceedingly poor when compared to that of the US. From what I could see scanning through recently, it appears that most of the selection is direct-to-DVD stuff that I've never heard of.

        Here in Canada, I know exactly 0 people usi

    • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

      The BI platform used by Dundas Data Visualization, Dundas Dashboard [dundas.com], is in Silverlight. I use it on a daily basis. However, they are now offering HTML5 as well. But having a dashboard designer, in the web with a very rich experience, is one example where Silverlight has an advantage. But of course, as HTML5 improves/adopts, that advantage is going away, making plug-ins no longer needed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I was asked to evaluate a website (for a large and well known company) only 3 days ago with a view to "taking it over".

      Let's say my review was less than favourable when I found that if you didn't have silverlight you were not able to use the site, the home page simply told you that without silverlight you could not continue to use the normal site and pushed you to a crappy antiquated mobile phone design of the site as an alternative.

      And the reason they had silverlight as a requirement? As best I could tell

      • As best I could tell it was because they had bad low resolution videos in the background of some pages.

        This is a huge WTF regadless of technology used to enable it - even if it were an animated GIF, say.

      • Sounds to me like less of a problem with Silverlight and more of a problem with the designer's choice to run the entire thing inside of a plugin.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      its actually fairly common for internal applications in big companies, especially finance, legal, etc.

      On the open internet though? Nope.

      • It did no good, of course, but I wrote an e-mail to the State of Minnesota complaining about the Minnesota Revenue "Where's My Refund" site [state.mn.us]. I can't think of any legitimate reason for a site like this to use Silverlight (or Flash or any other plugin). Here was my message:

        Do you offer a non-Silverlight version of the income tax refund status application? It does not seem to work with a recent stable version of Moonlight, though I have tried little to try to make it work.

        Further, why would Silverlight be o

        • He basically told you to piss off. That's because your mail was meaningless. There are close to 0% of people who don't have access to a Windows machine to login to the site. Your obscure choice of operating system shouldn't guide their decisions.

          Personally I wouldn't use Silverlight for a site like that either, but probably the reason they did is it's easier to develop and support in Silverlight.

    • Sky [sky.com] in the UK requires it for online viewing so I use it (on the Mac too).

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Friday December 09, 2011 @06:47PM (#38320272)

    a significant performance improvement with decoding of unprotected content using the GPU

    So it's great for everything you don't use Silverlight for.

  • oh, light you say.... OK then.
  • Now, from the people who brought you the Active-X security hole, we have a new Silverlight-based security hole.

    1. Buy Authenticode code-signing certificate. [digicert.com]
    2. Create web site with hostile code running under Silverlight.
    3. Spam to get website trafffic.
    4. User visits site with IE, Silverlight content runs, hostile code gets installed.
    5. PROFIT!

    Microsoft's model of "trusted code" doesn't involve anybody actually testing or looking at the code.

    • You forgot 2 steps:
      Convince the user to install your certificate (admin privileges needed).
      Convince the user to change a setting in group policy or hack the registry (more admin privileges needed).
  • According to this: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifean45#sl5 [microsoft.com]
    Silverlight 5 will be supported for 10 years. Not many software vendors are prepared to do that.

    • Yep, it's also why companies rather choose Microsoft. They know they will have long support dates and MS won't just suddenly pull the plug. Unlike for example Google, which announces end of life cycle on products like two weeks before.
      • While I agree Google might be overly aggressive... no actually they are- Chrome version numbers are insane. But it still doesn't make MS's obsession with supporting old shit and dragging forward progress down any better or more acceptable. It might sound great that IE6 is supported until the armageddon, but in reality at a certain point support becomes a liability not a plus.. Especially when you own a vast majority of the world's internet capable computers. And no MS is not the only one to do this, but I w
    • sure, but MS supports all end-of-life products for 10 years, even VB6 was supported until recently.

      What you get for your support however, generally means security bugs are squashed and MS will spend a tiny amount of effort making your apps work on future versions of Windows, if they feel like it. If you have a problem they'll tell you to install the latest service pack and if that doesn't fix it, tough - it doesn't support what you want it to do.

  • How retarded is that delay (pun not intended)? Even Flash has had that for a while.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."