Microsoft releases Silverlight 2

Microsoft today has released final bits of Silverlight 2 – one of the industry’s most comprehensive and powerful solutions for the creation and delivery of rich applications and media experiences through a Web browser. They have also released Release Candidate 1 of Silverlight Tools addon for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 for developing Silverlight applications through Visual Studio 2008.

Features new to Silverlight 2 includes:

.NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.

Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.

Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.

Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.

Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.

Expanded .NET Framework language support. Unlike other runtimes, Silverlight 2 supports a variety of programming languages, including Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, making it easier for developers already familiar with one of these languages to repurpose their existing skill sets.

Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.

Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.

Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.

Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.

Download Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2008 SP1 RC1

Download Silverlight 2. Customers already using a previous version of Silverlight will be automatically upgraded to Silverlight 2.