(Update: The Beta 2 bits are now available. Scott Gu has a detailed list of changes here)
The best news for me was that there are several changes for making the Silverlight model as close as possible to the WPF model. This is very important for Silverlight to live up to its reputation of being a WPF subset (remember its code name WPF Everywhere? )
Below are some changes:
- Improved Templating model using the Visual State Manager
- New Tab Control
- DataGrid improvements: Autosize, Reorder, Sort, Performance increase
- TextBox: Text wrapping and multiline selection highlighting in textbox.
- Includes the Visual Tree Helper.
- DataBinding: Binding to attached properties is now supported.
- Controls like the DataGrid which are now not part of the runtime (and have to be downloaded as part of the XAP) have been moved to the runtime. This is good news, but then the XAP is going to be heavier :).
- DeepZoom: XML based file format
- Full Screen Mode keyboard support: The only key supported earlier was escape. This was supposed to be for security reasons. Now additional keys are supported (arrow, tab, enter, home, end, pageup/pagedown, space).
- A bunch of new stuff on the Networking side: Upload support for WebClient, ability to allow user to increase Isolated Storage capacity (via UI), duplex communications ("push" from Server to client), new VS template for “Silverlight-enabled WCF Service”.