Microsoft Unveils Silverlight 2 Without Offline Addition

Microsoft will publicly release Silverlight 2 tomorrow, the company just announced.

The second full release of Silverlight will attempt to gain ground in the ongoing war with Adobe AIR, but it won’t add the previously discussed offline capability that would put the two in more direct competition. The update does add options for developers with a new Silverlight Control Pack and accompanying technical specification guide to the program’s XAML vocabulary. Other highlighted features, as described by Microsoft:

  • .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.

Silverlight 2 will go live for downloading at Microsoft’s official site Tuesday morning. Current users will see an automatic upgrade when they run the program.