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One of Silverlight's least expected surprises is its support for multithreading—the fine art of executing more than one piece of code at the same time. It's a key part of the full .NET Framework and a commonly used feature in rich client applications built with WPF and Windows Forms. However, multithreading hasn't appeared in the toolkit of most browser-based developers, and it's notably absent from both JavaScript and Flash.

The second surprise is how similar Silverlight's threading tools are to those in the full .NET Framework. As with ordinary .NET programming, Silverlight developers can create new threads with the Thread class, manage a long-running operation with the BackgroundWorker, and even submit tasks ...

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