Silverlight 5 is on the way.  Today (December 2, 2010) we’ve seen a brief preview, and I’d like to give a short overview of the important points.  I’m giving you the short story, and if you want a complete feature list see here.

3d

You can now write 3d hardware accelerated applications in Silverlight.  This includes hardware accelerated shaders.  Are in-browser 3d shooters finally coming?  We’ll see :)

Media

Hardware accelerated video decoding.  Watching videos now uses less CPU power and more GPU power.

WPF parity

WPF people are great, but they’re always complaining about missing features:)    Silverlight 5 is now closer to WPF than any previous version (including custom markup extensions and Ancestor Relative Source).

Text/Printing

People who really care about fonts aren’t crazy about Silverlight 4 font rendering.  Silverlight 5 adds support for clearer fonts and other features (full OpenType font support, etc.).

Timeline

Silverlight 5 will be available in beta in early 2011.  It will be released in late 2011.