Some very important stuff announced today on Scott Guthrie's blog around the collective futures of ASP.NET, Silverlight and IIS7.  You should read the whole post to get all the details, but here are some of the key, important points:

Silverlight 1.1 has now become Silverlight 2.0

There were many of us hoping this would happen, but I'm sure that book publishers and magazine editors everywhere are looking for their favorite headache remedy.  Silverlight 1.1 didn't really convey the advances that were being made in the platform like Silverlight 2.0 does - things such as

  • Added a bunch of UI and layout controls that had been missing from previous releases
  • Support for enhanced Networking protocols such as REST, WS*, RSS and a safe method for cross-site scripting of Web Service calls (YAY!)
  • Support for more advanced programming features such as LINQ to XML, threading, globalization and more

Silverlight 1.0 was already a wicked cool platform for building media-rich web applications, and with these advancements, it's really starting to feel like a true application development platform.  I am rally looking forward to Q1 2008 when the first BETA of Silverlight 2.0 will be released.

ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions

Remember the ASP.NET Futures stuff I said that I was going to be blogging about?  Well, this is what I've been waiting for.  ASP.NET Futures has become the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, and will include new technology advancements such as

  • ASP.NET MVC Framework - you've been hearing a lot about this since its debut at ALT.NET a few weeks back, and now we have a more firm idea of what is going to be released.  Scott has a phenomenal introduction to the ASP.NET MVC Framework, so be sure to check it out prior to the preview release next week.
  • ADO.NET Entity Framework and Astoria Data Services
  • ASP.NET AJAX extensions providing (among other things) better history/back-button support
  • ASP.NET support for Silverlight video and media

These extensions have been a long time coming, and it's great to see them packaged together and ready for a preview release as early as next week.  I'm particularly interested to see how the ADO.NET Entity Framework is received based on the well established popularity of existing ORMs such as NHibernate, but the MVC Framework has already turned out to be a big hit with the developers I've talked to that have had a chance to see it or play with early pre-releases.

So - go check out Scott's entire article for more info on IIS7 and more details behind some of the things I've mentioned here.  I'll let you know when the link is up for downloading the preview bits of the ASP.NET