Announced at Tech Ed today: Silverlight 2 Beta 2 is coming this week, right on time according to the information from the MIX08 sessions (Beta 1 plus 1q = this week).
There are tons of new things in Silverlight 2 Beta 2, but here are a few of the ones I find interesting.
- Cross-domain changes to Sockets. Sockets now support a server opt-in model similar to that used by WCF. I'll post more about this later.
- WCF Duplex Communications. Eugene Osovetsky blogged about this a bit ago. Expect to see some additional information from him on this topic. I'm looking forward to playing around with this feature and using it not only for chat-type applications, for for pushing notifications to business applications. Currently, this is a little harder to get your arms around, so look to Eugene and likely a post from me (I plan to use it in the TechFest application) to help clear it up.
- TextWrapping in textbox. Yay! Sure, Beta 1 was a beta, but I really did miss textwrapping in a textbox. I'm glad that has been addressed in Beta 2.
- TabControl which is a request I've heard often. It's always interesting to see how many applications make use of this even in somewhat obscure ways. A great addition to the control set.
- Updates to Improve WPF Compatibility. One of my favorite things about Silverlight is the goal of having a strict subset of WPF functionality. I love Silverlight, but I also love WPF. Being able to easily move back and forth between the two is a wonderful thing. This is also a big selling point with customers: one team, two platforms, one primary skillset.
There are some other neat features that I haven't played with yet, like the updates to Deep Zoom, the Visual State Manager for controls, LINQ to JSON, and ADO.NET Data Services. For the last, expect to see some great info from ADOGuy.
Note that this is the version that the Bejing Olympics and the DNC will both use for online content. Along those same lines, Beta 2 comes with a commercial go-live license so you can.
Along with Silverlight 2 Beta 2, you'll find a new preview of Expression Blend 2.5 and a new version of Deep Zoom Composer. Lots of goodies to keep you busy doing something other than mowing the lawn this summer :)
Now that there is a go-live for Silverlight 2 Beta 2, I expect to see lots of new applications launched.