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Silverlight 5 — Back From the Dead? 213

Posted by timothy
from the undying-support dept.
Barence writes "When Microsoft executive Bob Muglia recently revealed that Microsoft saw HTML5 as the future for universal in-browser development while Silverlight was being repositioned as a native application development platform for Windows Phone 7 devices, most pundits saw this as an admission of defeat. Now Microsoft has released a beta of Silverlight 5, PC Pro's Tom Arah asks if Microsoft has managed to bring Silverlight back from the dead. With a flurry of Android and Linux-based tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and other devices set to arrive on the market, Arah argues that Silverlight's time will come. 'Crucially, they will also want to integrate their desktop (Windows) and their main applications (Office and other WPF-based applications). Thanks to its work on HTML5, WPF and especially Silverlight, Microsoft and its army of desktop developers will be well set to deliver,' he argues."
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Silverlight 5 — Back From the Dead?

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  • Ok, I'm convinced (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @06:32AM (#34449586)

    I went to the MS store here in Bellevue today. Some of you may have seen me. But I doubt it.

    I was pretty much of the same mind as most of you. Silverlight is dead. It's a dead end technology, and no one will develop with it.

    Then today I saw a Windows Phone 7. I actually saw several models. They were actually really great. I was honestly ready for another piece of crap like every other Windows Mobile device I've ever seen. This was different.

    Microsoft has done something insanely great (to steal a phrase from Steve Jobs) with Windows Phone 7. I can't truthfully declaim the phone series to anyone who asks. So as more people buy the phone (and they will), more applications will need to be developed for it. That means more Silverlight programmers. As the key synergy is between the phone and the PC, applications for the PC will also be built in Silverlight.

    Sometimes when they are up against the wall with real competitors, Microsoft can produce good stuff. They are a day late, but this time they've brought a barrel full of extra dollars.

  • by t2t10 (1909766) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:49AM (#34449966)

    Microsoft's competitors have produced better software than Microsoft for decades and it didn't do them any good on the desktop.

    Microsoft needs to be much better than Android and iOS or they have already lost. "Good" isn't good enough.

  • by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @09:34AM (#34450124) Homepage

    What always baffled me was the 5 year gap between the release of .NET 1.0 and Silverlight 1.0. Remember when .NET 1.0 was released, everyone was asking, what is .NET? Part of the reason for the confusion was Microsoft's marketing department slathering the term on a variety of technologies, as they did with "Active" the previous decade. The other part of the reason was it didn't have a way to deploy to the browser. It seemed to me the main advantage of an interpretive run-time was to sandbox on the client. Instead, Microsoft built all these server-side technologies around .NET.

    If Microsoft had released Silverlight back in 2002 -- i.e. if it had the small footprint, Mac compatibility, and easy browser install that Silverlight has now and that Flash had back then -- then not only might Silverlight have supplanted Flash, the momentum of millions of Microsoft developers jumping in that early might have forestalled or diminished the role of HTML5 today.

    Not all of this is 20/20 hindsight. Browser install, to compete with Java Webstart, was a no-brainer. Then, if it had been a goal at that time of Microsoft to be the standard for all browsers, would have seen why Flash was succeeding (small footprint, Mac compatibility) and adopted those attributes for .NET client.

  • Proffesional (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @12:14PM (#34451008) Journal

    Can you really call yourself a proffesional if you are willingly pulling a IE6 again by writing for a format that is NOT universally supported?

    Simple fact check, what runs on more environments? HTML5, Flash, Silverlight?

    And no, opensource efforts that will always be playing catchup do NOT count.

    You are once again tying your customers into a specific tech. Now I know who was building those IE6 only apps. It was you.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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