WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?
Creating your First Silverlight application
Using the Navigation Framework
Theming your Silverlight application
Running a Silverlight application outside of the browser
Although it's a rather new technology, Silverlight has been getting a lot of traction from within Microsoft and the developer community due to its huge potential as a development platform. New major versions are released very regularly (there were only nine months between the version 2 and version 3 releases), demonstrating that it is progressing fast. At the time of writing Silverlight had reached version 4, which is already showing a lot of maturity for a reasonably young technology.
Previously, it was quite a chore to configure Visual Studio 2008 for Silverlight development, requiring Service Pack 1 along with the Silverlight Tools to be installed just to get started. Visual Studio 2010 comes already configured for Silverlight development "out of the box," making it very easy to get started. Also, Visual Studio 2008 had no designer for Silverlight user interfaces (initially there was a preview view but this was later abandoned), requiring developers to write the XAML and run their application to view the results, or use Expression Blend if they had access to it (which did have a designer). This has been vastly improved in Visual Studio 2010, with a very capable designer now available making it much easier for developers to create user interfaces in Silverlight.