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Silverlight 4 Beta Gets the Thumbs Up

I've been talking to a lot of Silverlight developers and experts over the past couple weeks, as part of a cover feature we are doing on Microsoft's next version of its rich Internet application (RIA) platform, which was released in beta form at PDC in November. Given how quickly Redmond turned the crank between Silverlight 3 and 4, I figured the beta might be a bit rough around the edges or missing a few critical pieces. So I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the current beta of Silverlight 4 is, in fact, surprisingly robust.

Ben Dewey, a senior software developer at consultancy twentysix New York, has been working with the Silverlight 4 beta since it came out. He said he hasn't encountered any problems and said there is no indication that features are missing. "I haven't run into any non-implemented exceptions or anything along those lines," he said.

Evan Hutnick, a developer evangelist at component maker Telerik, told me he's spoken with a number of customers currently using the beta release to develop Silverlight apps, and they "seem really confident in this beta right now."

I'm hearing these kinds of comments from just about everyone I talk to.

The current beta of Silverlight 4 doesn't carry a go-live license, so obviously it's way too early to start releasing software based on the current code. At PDC, Microsoft's Scott Guthrie offered a release time frame of the first half of 2010, but it certainly seems like the final version of Silverlight 4 could emerge sooner rather than later.

Have you been working with the Silverlight 4 beta? What are your impressions of what Microsoft has delivered? Comment below, or email me at

Posted by Michael Desmond on 01/12/2010 at 1:15 PM

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