Scott Guthrie, Microsoft corporate vice president, announced that Silverlight 4 files and tooling will be available for download Thursday April 15. Silverlight 4 is the fourth release of this developer product in just over two years. Guthrie noted that this version is twice as fast as earlier versions, the setup is 30 percent faster, and there are new profiling APIs to monitor apps.
Back at the PDC in November 2009, Guthrie indicated that Silverlight was on 45 percent of all Internet connected devices in the world. Today, at his Silverlight keynote at the Visual Studio 2010 launch event, he said that this statistic is now reaching 60 percent "and climbing." He stressed that this version of Silverlight contained features that business developers had been asking for such as printing support, rich reporting and charting, and integration with back-end systems and server products including Microsoft SharePoint. Franck Jeannin, the CEO of Ormetis, demoed a Silverlight solution and noted that his company chose Silverlight over Flash, saying "I'm not going to criticise Flash, Steve Jobs is doing that full-time."
Another major thrust of Silverlght 4 is to move "Beyond the Browser" with new offline capabilities and trusted application support.
This version of the product also adds more media capabilities--the goal is to enable Silverlight on many devices--such as phones, TVs, DVDs, and set-top devices. The keynote audience at the launch event got to see the first demo outside of Microsoft of Silverlight running on a set-top box.
For more news on Silverlight 4 follow Scott Guthrie's blog.
For background on the Silverlight 4 product release see Microsoft Makes Silverlight and Windows Phone 7 Series Announcements and Microsoft to Launch Silverlight 4 at Visual Studio 2010 Launch Event.