Microsoft yesterday announced Silverlight 5. With beta availability scheduled for the first half of 2011, the next release of Silverlight sports more than 40 new features, including support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features in the browser and dramatic video quality and performance improvements.

 

Key media and UI improvements include:

 

  • Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support.
  • TrickPlay allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind. At up to twice the speed, audio pitch correction allows users to watch videos while preserving a normal audio pitch.
  • Improved power awareness prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.
  • Remote-control support allows users to control media playback.
  • Digital rights management advancements allow seamless switching between DRM media sources.

 

Silverlight 5 was announced during a day-long Firestarter event. You can view the Silverlight Firestarter webcast on demand.

 

For more detail on the upcoming release, see Scott Guthrie’s blog.

 

More to come,

Mitch

 

Subscribe to the TechNet Flash newsletter