Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hundreds of controls coming to Silverlight

Even though the vast majority of Scott Guthrie's ASP.NET Connections keynote yesterday was review for anyone following the .NET scene (which you are if you're reading this blog), he did manage to (intentionally or not) share a couple of interesting Silverlight news items.

First, while talking about Silverlight UI controls, Scott mentioned that there are thirty-five controls currently included in Silverlight 2. Thirty-five? Really? I suppose it depends on what you count as a "control," but by my best and most liberal count I don't see more than 30 controls in Silverlight 2 beta 1 (stay tuned for some interesting news about a new article I'm publishing on this very topic). Where are the other five controls Scott referenced? Is it possible he's alluding to some new controls that are ready to go in beta 2? I can't say for certain, but his next comment really makes this a moot point.

Continuing with his comments on UI controls, Scott said in a year's time (or so) there would be over 100 controls built-in to Silverlight. I know?! Over one-hundred? That's not only a lot of controls for a .NET platform, but it sounds like more controls than Microsoft has ever shipped for any of its previous application platforms. Again, the definition of "control" could be causing some confusion here, but the core message is the same: in about a year, Microsoft is going to more than triple the number of built-in controls in Silverlight.

So what? Well, this "news" should give you more comfort that Silverlight is getting aggressive investment from Microsoft and give you hope that anything you don't see in Silverlight today will probably be there in less than a year. It also means that when it comes to developing for Silverlight, Microsoft is going the extra-mile to make sure you have all the incentive you need to build your apps on the infant platform. I guess now it's time to wait and see what Microsoft delivers.