Microsoft confirms Silverlight 5 beta to ship in mid-April

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The wait is nearly over as Microsoft plans on making a beta of Silverlight 5 available around the Mix ’11 conference during the week of April 11. Microsoft had announced last year that it planned on releasing Silverlight 5 beta in the second calendar quarter of 2011.

As ZDNet reports, Silverlight 5, which is reportedly going to include 40 new features, is set to be released as a beta during the week of April 11 and the final version will be available towards the end of this year.

Microsoft posted in its Sliverlight Blog about Silverlight and its relationship to HTML5:

“While we have emphasized the role of HTML5 as the foundation of the recently released Internet Explorer 9 and have shown an unprecedented commitment to being leaders in HTML5 browsers, we have probably not emphasized enough the tooling for HTML5. We’re going to emphasize that much more going forward as the clarity of feedback and the emphasis our customers want us to place on these tools for the professional toolbox is clear. It would be fair to say to the degree we did not emphasize the above we made up for it in our emphasis in Silverlight as a runtime (and by extension XAML).”

Silverlight would be a cross-platform development tool for mobile, web, and PC development for a number of years as Microsoft feels that HTML5 is far too young to be a development standard.

Silverlight 5 is set to have 40 new features. Among the new features, we will see improved media support and rich UI capabilities. We will also see text improvements, runtime enhancements, and remote-control support allowing users to control media playback easily. Hardware acceleration will also be included in Silverlight 5.

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