Microsoft has announced that over 40 new features will be added to Silverlight 5, which will be available in the first half of 2011. The announcement came at today's Silverlight Firestarter event. You can watch the keynote here. New features announced include: support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features in the browser, text enhancements, a GPU accelerated 3-D API and more.
A demo of the new 3D API
The performance and graphics improvements include:
- Reduced network latency by using a background thread for networking.
- XAML parser improvements that speed up startup and runtime performance.
- Support for 64-bit operating systems.
- Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) accelerated 3-D application programming interface (API) provides rich graphics on the Web for building advanced data visualizations and rich user experience (UI).
- Immediate mode graphics API allows direct rendering to the GPU.
- Hardware acceleration is enabled in windowless mode with Internet Explorer 9.
The full list of new features is available here.