Microsoft Silverlight 5 vs Microsoft Silverlight 4
Microsoft Silverlight 5 and Microsoft Silverlight 4 are two versions of the Microsoft Silverlight released in 2011 and 2010 respectively. Microsoft Silverlight is an application framework for creating Rich Interactive Applications (RIA) for the web. It is supported by most web browsers including Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox and it is compatible with different platforms including Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Microsoft Silverlight combines several technologies in to a single development environment, which allows the developers to select the tools and programming languages of their choice. Silverlight provides similar functionalities to Adobe Flash. Early versions of MS Silverlight focused on supporting streaming media while current versions support multimedia, graphics and animation. First version of MS Silverlight was released in 2007 and currently silverlight is in its fifth version.
MS Silverlight 4
Silverlight 4 was released in April 15, 2010 and it aimed to establish its position as the natural choice for developers to build business applications on the web. To achieve this goal, it included some special features such as comprehensive printing support, more than sixty customizable set of controls including RichTextArea with hyperlinks, images and editing. Silverlight 4 also provided localization enhancements with bidirectional text and complex scripts for 30 new languages including Arabic, Hebrew and Thai. Further, Silverlight 4 provided improved support for data binding, which would reduce the amount of code needs to be written by a developer while working with customized data. Silverlight 4 also provides additional capabilities for developers to create applications with richer and more appealing media features including enhanced animation capabilities. Silverlight 4 was the first version of Silverlight to support Google Chrome web browser.
MS Silverlight 5
Silverlight 5, the newest version of MS Silverlight, intended to be released in the latter half of 2011, promises to be a powerful tool for developing rich internet applications with a great media experience. Highlights of Siverlight 5 are the improvements in video quality and performance and also it provides feature to improve the productivity of developers. Silverlight 5 improves performance by reducing the network latency using a background thread for networking and it also provides support for 64-bit operating systems. Silverlight 5 also improves debugging support by allowing breakpoints to be set on a binding, which will allow stepping through binding failures. Hardware acceleration is also enabled in windowless mode with Internet Explorer 9. Additionally, Silverlight 5 provides improvements to text that allows building rich magazine-style text layouts.
What is the difference between Microsoft Silverlight 5 and Microsoft Silverlight 4
Even though Silverlight 5 is developed using Silverlight 4 as a foundation, they have some noticeable differences. Silverlight 5 introduces more than 40 new features that were not present in silverlight 4. These features include support for running Silverlight applications within the browser with desktop features, impressive video quality with improved performance and some added features to improve the efficiency of developers. Siverlight 5 also allows trusted applications to access the local file system without a restriction and out-of-browser trusted applications are allowed to create multiple window instances. Further, Silverlight 5 includes new classes for sound effects and they can be used to manage the sound effects of a developed application. Finally, unlike Silverlight 4, Silverligth 5 provides features to check and change the playback rate of media.