Microsoft has officially released Silverlight 4, the latest version of its web application framework for cross-platform business and multimedia software. The firm will also make available a release candidate of its Expression Blend 4 user interface design tool.
Available to download from today, the Silverlight 4 plug-in delivers improvements for applications to run outside the browser along with further multimedia enhancements, and is also intended to enable business application development, according to Microsoft.
The release comes in the same week as Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010, the latest update of its development suite that is required to build applications for Silverlight 4.
According to Microsoft, Silverlight 4 delivers a full suite of capabilities to business application developers, bringing the firm's .Net platform to browser-based experiences.
Performance optimisations mean that applications under Silverlight 4 will start quicker and run up to 200 per cent faster than with Silverlight 3, the firm said.
For businesses, Silverlight 4 introduces enterprise class networking and data access for transaction-based applicatons, plus printing support for the first time.
Trusted applications running outside the browser can also now read and write files to the user's My Documents, My Music, My Pictures and My Videos folders, and link with other desktop programs such as using Outlook to send an email, for example.
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