Microsoft rolled out to developers a near-final Release Candidate (RC) of Silverlight 5 on September 1.
The RC is a developer-only release with no go-live license. The final version of Silverlight 5 is still due out later this year.
Silverlight is Microsoft's free web-browser plug-in that enables interactive media experiences, line of business applications and Windows Phone development.
In December 2010, Microsoft execs said Silverlight 5 would include 40 new features, the bulk of which are focused around making Silverlight a development platform for rich media and business applications. Microsoft delivered a beta of Silverlight 5 in April 2011.
Features new to the Silverlight 5 RC since the beta release include:
Microsoft is expected to say more about the future of Silverlight at the Build conference in mid-September in Anaheim. For those whose Silverlight sales and deployments have been hurt by Microsoft's reluctance to be clear about Silverlight's role in Windows 8 and other products/services, Build can come none too soon.