Following on from last month’s Architect Forums with Matti Seikkula which showed the use of Virtual Earth, SQL 2008 spatial and Silverlight I promised a number of folk that I’d blog when Silverlight 2 actually becomes available.

The answer is Tuesday Oct 14 (US Pacific time) – there is a press pass announcement which has a link off to where the download will be available.

Yes you are reading the announcement correctly when you see Microsoft are working with Soyatec to “lead a project to integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE.

Key features of Silverlight 2.0 from the press pass announcement;

Highlights of new Silverlight 2 features include the following:

.NET Framework support with a rich base class library. This is a compatible subset of the full .NET Framework.

Powerful built-in controls. These include DataGrid, ListBox, Slider, ScrollViewer, Calendar controls and more.

Advanced skinning and templating support. This makes it easy to customize the look and feel of an application.

Deep zoom. This enables unparalleled interactivity and navigation of ultrahigh resolution imagery.

Comprehensive networking support. Out-of-the-box support allows calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS and standard HTTP services, enabling users to create applications that easily integrate with existing back-end systems.

Expanded .NET Framework language support. Unlike other runtimes, Silverlight 2 supports a variety of programming languages, including Visual Basic, C#, JavaScript, IronPython and IronRuby, making it easier for developers already familiar with one of these languages to repurpose their existing skill sets.

Advanced content protection. This now includes Silverlight DRM, powered by PlayReady, offering robust content protection for connected Silverlight experiences.

Improved server scalability and expanded advertiser support. This includes new streaming and progressive download capabilities, superior search engine optimization techniques, and next-generation in-stream advertising support.

Vibrant partner ecosystem. Visual Studio Industry Partners such as ComponentOne LLC, Infragistics Inc. and Telerik Inc. are providing products that further enhance developer capabilities when creating Silverlight applications using Visual Studio.

Cross-platform and cross-browser support. This includes support for Mac, Windows and Linux in Firefox, Safari and Windows Internet Explorer.