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Announcing the Release of Silverlight 5!

Pete Brown - 09 December 2011

Stocking by Squirrel Cottage http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrel_cottage/3041480598/

Look what just came out, and well in time to beat the Christmas rush :) Yes, it's Silverlight 5. We had originally announced that Silverlight 5 would be out by the end of this year, and I'm glad to report that it has made it in in time to give everyone something interesting to play with over the holidays. My congratulations to the engineering, marketing, support, and documentation teams for pulling off yet another amazing release.

Get the Bits

The best place to go to get the bits is http://silverlight.net/downloads . Make sure you have Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (or Visual Web Developer) and then install the Silverlight 5 Tools. While there, be sure to install the latest version of the Silverlight 5 Toolkit - most of the XNA goodness is in the toolkit and SDK.


The version number for this release of Silverlight 5 is 5.0.61118. You can in-place upgrade from the RC. While not required, you can also uninstall the old bits first if you want.

Where to Get Help

The Learn section on Silverlight.net is the primary location for Silverlight 5 videos and tutorials. The beta and RC content still applies, and I've started creating more Release content for you as well.

We have a dedicated Silverlight 5 forum on Silverlight.net. Post any Silverlight 5-related technical questions there for peer support.

Of course, I can't help but throw out a plug for my book Silverlight 5 in Action. If you order it right now, you get the early access bits, which is 1200 pages of raw unedited writing from me. I think you'll like it.

Silverlight 5 RTM/RTW Features

Silverlight 5 adds a ton of new features over what we had with Silverlight 4. These are non-trivial features like a full 3d stack, parsing performance improvements, tons of enhancements to binding and much more. My favorite features have to be Implicit Templates and the XNA-Compatible 3d Stack. The official list of features is here, but I've also detailed some below with direct links to learning content (this is adapted from my RC post).

Binding and Related


  • XNA 3D API
  • Improved Graphics Stack
  • XNA 3D built-in effects
  • XNA 3D Project Templates with full XNA Content Pipeline
  • 3D surface composition settings
  • 3D multi-sample anti-aliasing



Operating System Integration

  • P/Invoke  (also: My Printer Enum Example)
  • Multiple Windows
  • Unrestricted File System Access in Full Trust
  • Full Trust in-browser for enterprise scenarios
  • Default Filename in SaveFileDialog and OpenFileDialog
  • 64 bit browser support for Windows
  • Power awareness for media apps (keep the PC alive while a movie is playing, for example)

Productivity and Performance

  • Network Latency Improvements
  • Databinding Debugging
  • Parser Performance Improvements
  • Multi-core JIT for improved start-up time



and more…

My Silverlight CodePlex Projects

For a number of reasons, I've let my CodePlex projects sit for a bit. The time has come for me to finally update them. I'll have new Silverlight 5 versions of the Commodore 64 Emulator with a new UI and sound support, and the Silverlight Printing/Reporting example both up shortly after I return from vacation with the family. Look for more info soon.

Go Get it

So go and check out the release. It is backwards compatible with your Silverlight 4 applications (it runs in quirks mode until you recompile the project for Silverlight 4), so feel free to target SL3, 4 or 5 using the Silverlight 5 bits.

posted by Pete Brown on Friday, December 9, 2011
filed under:        

41 comments for “Announcing the Release of Silverlight 5!”

  1. Ken Dopieralasays:
    Thanks Pete! Do you know if and/or when Silverlight 5 RTM will be available for VS11? I've been using Windows 8 and VS11 Dev Preview exclusively for over a month now and can't install the Silverlight 5 RTM tools because it says VS2010 isn't installed.

    Hopefully they'll release something this weekend. I don't want to install VS2010 after VS11 so if I know it won't be till VS11 betas I'll re-do this machine and install VS2010 first.


  2. Petesays:

    Which browsers have you tried it on on the mac? The perf will be pretty browser dependent, so I'm curious what you see.


    No word on 11 yet. I wouldn't expect to see any interim Silverlight tools releases for VS 11 builds.


    I believe Japanese and English were released. That covers most installations. Are the tools not installing for you? If not, what language/locale are you set up to use?

  3. David Rohsays:
    Yes!! :->

    Thank you Pete for your support of Silverlight - I know you have taken a lot of crap (including from me).

    Silverlight 5 is an awesome technology!

    I hope you stay with and promote Silverlight - I believe it has a great future because, bottom line, there is not another technology that can touch it (Flash comes the closest but does not have the C# library support).
  4. Raymondsays:
    will the just released silverlight 5 work with async ctp or is there an updated version of async ctp packaged with silverlight 5 tools which have just been released?

  5. Petersays:
    Congratulation to marketing team?
    There is no Silverlight Future roadmap and neverending rumours about Silverlight dead.
    There is absolute lack of communication about Silvelright future so this is huge marketing fail.

    Please give us developers some sign, because it is difficult to defend Silverlight projects whene there are so many rumours about Sivlerlight dead. Love Silverlight and its productivity which is light-years ahead of Javascript&HTML

    Greate Work for this release

  6. Vincesays:
    Yes, Silverlight marketing is an epic FAIL. Regardless if Silverlight is going to continue to be supported and updated, its impossible to convince anyone to invest in another Silverlight LOB app. Since LOB is really the only long term use of Silverlight now that Microsoft has proclaimed HTML5 to be the future of the web, they really should put some marketing around Silverlight LOB. I would really love to conitnue using Visual Studio and Blend but if management believes that Silverlight is dead then they will look towards open source solutions and HTML even more than they already do now. I'll be back doing java in eclipse and the last decade of improvement will be for not.
  7. TJsays:
    You guys have done a tremendous job on Silverlight 5. I just updated a dev copy of my company's Silverlight-based product to Silverlight 5 and holy crap it is fast now! Animations are very smooth and fluid now, DropShadowEffects no longer bring things to a crawl, and there's a definite improvement in network performance with all the web services we use. Now I'm going through and tweaking things to take advantage of the improved rendering and things are looking very promising. A couple of our existing animations are a little wonky on the Silverlight 5 runtime but we're getting things straightened up.

    Great job and keep up the good work!
  8. Michael C. Neelsays:
    If I read the new release docs correctly, the XNA support is Windows only - no Mac? This is unfortunate as there are already solutions in the games space with full cross platform support (Unity 3D) and was really hoping SL could be a viable option here.

    I really don't like the direction of some SL features working only on some platforms. This is one of my big uses for SL - OOB apps running on Win and Mac.

    Otherwise I'm really glad this release is out - several features I've been waiting on I can now start deploying!
  9. R. Lawsonsays:
    Silverlight is a very compelling product - but their marketing team? Mass suicide seems appropriate. I've never seen a product release marketed more poorly than Silverlight 5. Trucking school people. There is still hope for you.

    There are some very smart software engineers and development managers responsible for Silverlight. Thanks goes entirely to them. When the suits finally realize that HTML5 is not ready - and even when it is ready it is still not a very compelling RIA platform - I hope it isn't too late for Silverlight.

    I can develop software better, faster, and more enjoyably on SL than on any web platform. The only thing HTML5 and web apps have going for them in contrast to SL5 is ubiquity. But if every other feature breaks on every other browser is it really that ####ing ubiquitous? Doesn't matter. No client will let me speak of SL thanks to this marketing team.

    The best way to explain this to the suits is to have them write a hello-world app using both platforms. If they can. Go back to selling cigarettes and shampoo ads - you suck at technology! You're way more adept at helping people get cancer and bleaching their hair than solving actual business problems using technology.

    It's official. I now hate marketing people more than lawyers. Hope I didn't hold back too much there. Very therapeutic.
  10. hboensays:
    I am very disappointed that Microsoft does not make an official statement regarding the future of Silverlight. As an ISV we have tried in the past with asp.net, html, css and javascript. It was very time consuming and very hard to debug and to get the application renders for all browsers. You need client side and server side scripting. I was very pleased when Silverlight arrives. One development platform for producing a web enabled application with superior technology that looks even better than the look and feel of traditional window forms application. Starting from Silverlight 4 and 5 (finally decent, non bitmap, printing support) matures for making great web or LOB applications. Suddenly in the last BUILD MS changed direction and make a lot of fuss of supporting HTML5 and riding the same bandwagon as Apple. What is html5? HTML+CSS+javascript? Is this progress? It’s just going back to the beginning of the WWW! Yes, the majority of SL developers wants their apps also running on IOS or Android. It was a wrong direction from the start not to support multiple platforms for SL. Solution?
    1. Start supporting SL for Android first, it is open, and it should not be hard for the clever programmers at Richmond to get the job done. Combine powers with the “old” mono team! Don’t take too long to develop Android support.
    2. Make a conversion tool for VS where a SL application can be transformed to HTML5 shit
    3. Develop a generator and packager where u can have the html5 stuff deployed for IOS.

    A majority of Microsoft technology developers loves Silverlight . The internet forums are full of their concerns. Microsoft hear their voices or they will defect to the competition when they cannot trust Microsoft product development and strategy any more! Just Invest and make SL an open platform and it will remain or become the best tool for most of the developers!

    Before MS takes the lead introducing and setting standard in new technology. It seems now that MS is becoming a follower instead of the leader in new product development! We know from history that followers will be marginalized and finally ending up as Wordperfect!

  11. Cherylsays:
    I really really really NEED Silverlight on my tablet!! ... Is there ANYWAY this can be installed??? Very frustrating I have went EVERYWHERE looking for help/support.. Can anyone help???
  12. Pete Brownsays:

    What tablet? There are lots of different types of tablets out there. Only the Windows ones will run Silverlight (and if Windows 8, only in the desktop mode). Apple made the decision not to allow *any* plugins, and Android is really fragmented.

    Are you looking to develop, or do you need it for something else?

  13. Jacquessays:
    Anyone noticed how @Pete only answers non-future-of-silverlight questions?

    Based on Microsoft's behavior in the past it would seem that Silverlight has come to the end of it's lifetime. Another scenario which tarnished Microsoft's already damaged reputation is the announcement of their own, secretly built, tablet to run Windows 8. Many will say there's no problem with this, but it's an about-face on MS's policy with regards to hardware partners. (This seems to be a running trend now, whether it's hardward partners or the developer network)

    Since Balmer came in there have been significant changes at Microsoft, some good some bad. The most concerning changes are these sorts where the ecosystem is just being burned. I.e. we all end up looking like idiots for suggesting Silverlight in the first place.

    Further reading starts to make one think that whilst C#, VB.Net, Xaml and the like will survive this new direction, the .net framework itself doesn't have a future either. My guess is that at some point the libraries will be embedded into the OS itself with no need for an abstracted framework such as .net or Java. .net just never lived up to its promise of being truly cross platform.

  14. Noijssays:
    Hello Pete,

    I've got silverlight 5.1.10411.0. When i want to watch programs on the internet that i missed, Silverlight always crashes. I use mozilla as a browser and filed a crash-report again and again. It never works.
    What is happening here?
  15. Petesays:

    How did you submit the bug reports, and to whom?

    Assuming the apps you're using work on other machines and aren't just buggy themselves, Silverlight crashes were almost always the result of outdated or buggy video card drivers. I would encourage you update to the latest version of your video drivers for your machine.

  16. Noijssays:
    Hello Pete,

    Thanks for the quick answer.!
    I submitted the bug report to Mozilla. In the videoscreen there is a link(option) to submit the crash to mozilla so they can work on it so they say. There is something that occurs just after i hit the play button, maybe you can recognize the problem then. If i hit the play button my processor hits 100% in the task manager and keeps a 100% till it crashes.(not my computer but silverlight).

  17. Petesays:

    Ok, I'm not sure what Mozilla will do with that info. Definitely update your video drivers (directly from the manufacturer of your laptop, desktop, or video card) and if the problem persists, send a bug report to the site which owns the app itself.

  18. Gavin says:

    Quick question what is the main purpose of this SilverLight 5 because it's on my computer and i don't believe I've ever used it or even installed it ??

    Can anyone help thanks

  19. mosisays:
    i am administrator in a company
    we use CMS(Content management system) software that the developers of CMS tell us that we should install silver to use properly from CMS. all PC in company use windows XP service pack 2 and 3.
    the browser we use is Filefox 27.0
    in this condition silver not work properly. in some case we force re-install OS. but in some other re-installing OS don's solve problem.
    please help
    sorry for poor English

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