It has been a fun month for us so far. 


Earlier this month we RTM’ed Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5.  Earlier this week we released an update to the Silverlight Add-in for Visual Studio 2008.  This last release is a critical link to make it much easier for developers to use their VS skills to build Silverlight applications.  The buzz around Silverlight is continuing to grow after our launch of Silverlight 1.0 in September.  We’ve seen a growing list of partners and customers join the Silverlight club as well a lot positive buzz in the community.  Even with all this happening this year, we are marching full steam ahead on the next version and I wanted to take a minute to update you. 


The next version of Silverlight includes a lot of exciting features for developers - most importantly it supports .NET, which we’ve been touting for a while now.  We have recalibrated the product direction to align with our customers business needs and here’s a glimpse of some of the “new” features.  There will be Silverlight controls that you can add to your toolbox and drag onto your design surface, just as you do with ASP.NET.  These controls will provide full support for layout management (Stack + Grid), sockets, databinding, templating, networking and much more.  It will include an integrated solution for cross-domain networking and  developers will be able to access resources and data from any trusted source on the Web.  We are also expanding and improving our media pipeline performance and formats.


With all these updates, the Silverlight 1.1 versioning simply didn’t do the enhancements justice so we decided to rename the next version to “Silverlight 2.0,” instead of “Silverlight 1.1.”   We are planning on delivering a beta version of Silverlight 2.0 in Q1 2008. 


Silverlight 2.0 is optimized for the Web to deliver unparalleled developer productivity and user experiences on Windows, Mac, and soon Linux, through browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and beyond.  This release will include a comprehensive control model, powerful skinning, theming, and databinding, with over 20 controls in the box as well.


While Silverlight is certainly an exciting, new thing, we are continuing to invest in ASP.NET for standards-based Web development and we will be releasing a preview of ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions in early December.  You can expect to see MVC, Dynamic Data, REST Services, AJAX improvements and much more. 


For more details, you can also check out Scott Guthrie’s blog.