Silverlight 2 Release Candidate Available

Developers can get prepared for the next version of Microsoft's rich Internet application platform by grabbing Silverlight 2 Release Candidate 0 developer runtime edition, which became publicly available on Thursday of last week.

Silverlight is a cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in, based on Microsoft's .NET Framework, that developers can use to create Web-based applications. The new RC0 runtime is strictly designed for developers and will help them get their apps in working order by time of the product's final release, according to a post by Microsoft's Scott Guthrie.

The regular end-user product that plugs into your browser is still at the Silverlight 2 Beta 2 stage.

Guthrie didn't say when the next Silverlight product release would happen. However, sources told veteran Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley that a Silverlight Release-to-Web version will happen in the first week of October.

Microsoft released the RC0 runtime to provide the closest functionality to the real thing with the aim of getting final feedback and bug fixes. However, RC0 does include some new features, including three new controls -- ComboBox, PasswordBox and ProgressBar -- that Guthrie demonstrates in his blog post.

He added that the final release of Silverlight will feature improved "default control template skins" and developers will be able to tweak them using Microsoft Expression Blend.

Guthrie stressed that Silverlight generally makes Web app customization easy to do.

"This goes beyond simple styling of colors and fonts -- you can literally completely change the visual UI of a control, as well as customize its behavior (for example: add animation) without writing any code."

Both Mac and PC versions of Silverlight RC0 can be downloaded here, along with associated Visual Studio tools and the latest Expression Blend user interface design tool. To use RC0, you first have to install Service Pack 1 of Expression Blend 2.0.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.