When it's release later this week, Silverlight 2 Beta 2 comes with a Go Live license. The Beta 2 release of Silverlight 2 will be publicly available later this week. The following provides a summary of what the new release includes:

  • UI Framework: Beta 2 includes improvements in animation support, error handling and reporting, automation and accessibility support, keyboard input support, and general performance. This release also provides more compatibility between Silverlight and WPF.
  • Rich Controls: Beta 2 includes a new templating model called Visual State Manager that allows for easier templating for controls.
  • Networking Support: Beta 2 includes improved Cross Domain support and security enhancements, upload support for WebClient, and duplex communications (“push” from server to Silverlight client).
  • Rich Base Class Library: Beta 2 includes improved threading abilities, LINQ-to-JSON, ADO.NET Data Services support, better support for SOAP, and various other improvements to make networking and data handling easier.
  • Deep Zoom: Beta 2 introduces a new XML-based file format for Deep Zoom image tiles, as well as a new MultiScaleTileSource that enables existing tile databases to utilize Deep Zoom.

Other features in a future release will include the introduction of TabControl, text wrapping and scrollbars for TextBox, and for DataGrid additions include Autosize, Reorder, Sort, performance increases and more.  Controls are now in the runtime instead of packaged with the application. They aren't part of the core at this time, but are planned for a later release. In additiona, LINQ-to-JSON is included "in the box" in beta 2 with support planned for LINQ to SQL.

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform and now cross-device plug-in that enables you to deliver a Rich Internet Application (RIA) across form factors.

Silverlight 2 includes over 40 new controls, cross-domain networking support for calling REST, WS*/SOAP, POX, RSS, and standard HTTP services and a rich .NET base class library of functionality (collections, IO, generics, threading, globalization, XML, local storage, etc).

Expression Studio and Visual Studio provide role-specific productivity tools that empower designers and developers to easily collaborate on Silverlight projects. Today Microsoft released Expression Blend 2.5 2008 June Preview and Silverlight Tools Beta 2 for Visual Studio 2008.

The releases should be on the Silverlight, Expression Blend, and Visual Studio site later this week.