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Microsoft Windows

Silverlight 5 — Back From the Dead? 213

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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  • by igreaterthanu ( 1942456 ) * on Sunday December 05, 2010 @07:12AM (#34449704)

    Silverlight support on anything but Windos/IE is flaky at best

    Sorry but that is just FUD. Silverlight works fine on basically any browser on Windows and the same on OS X, that is, everywhere it is supported it works perfectly fine. Have you actually used Silverlight?

  • Re:Ok, I'm convinced (Score:5, Informative)

    by pasamio ( 737659 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @07:15AM (#34449712) Homepage

    The problem is that Apple initially released their device saying that you wrote web apps for it and that would be the way to develop for it. And everyone hated, said it was a stupid idea and practically demanded an API which Apple subsequently delivered with a controlled way of deployment. The first iPhone SDK was for web apps and bashing Apple for delivering what was requested even if now we have it we realise it isn't so much of a good idea really just gets bothersome. More importantly Apple continue to make that gateway open for developers, Android does though to a lesser extent however Microsoft seem to have the view that anything that runs on a Phone 7 device will be Silverlight or else.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @07:39AM (#34449762)

    1) The UI is very responsive and visual effects are smooth.
    2) The UI enhancements seem to reach deep into each application. In WM6.5, the main screen may have been pretty cool, but once you left that screen the UI was the same old WinMo crap. WP7 seems to have solved that in a way similar to iPhone in that each app really seems to fit with the rest of the software.
    3) Better software keyboard than Android and iPhone. I have had a terrible time with the software keyboards of both Android and iPhone. Especially on the iPhone, the software keyboard seems to pick up the key above the one I am pressing. The WP7 phones I tried worked perfectly.
    4) Easy to use UI. Application buttons are big and self-explanatory. Flicking works great. All immediately useful features are immediately available (call, text, camera, etc)

    The one thing I did not like was the constant requirement to use the Back button. If I want to close the software keyboard, I had to click Back. If I wanted to go back in a menu, I had to hit Back. This kind of thing seems like it should be done in the visual UI. The user shouldn't be expected to know that Back is a magical button.

  • by am 2k ( 217885 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:09AM (#34449838) Homepage

    Uh, Java is Open Source, .net is server-side (except for Silverlight of course) and Flash does undermine standardization as well. What's your point again?

  • by igreaterthanu ( 1942456 ) * on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:10AM (#34449846)

    From what I understand, the controls that Silverlight developers create and use in their apps can only be written in C/C++ on WP7.

    Silverlight is a managed framework that runs on top of a subset of .NET. Any .NET code that runs on that particular subset can be used for Silverlight. With regular .NET, managed C++ and unsafe C# are allowed, however the subset of .NET that Silverlight runs on disallows anything unsafe, so C++ is out and so is unsafe C# (regular C# is still okay). Examples of other languages that are okay are: VB.NET, F#.

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

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @02:09PM (#34451902)

    For me, yes there are a number of things WP7 does better than iOS and Android.

    First and foremost is the integration with various microsoft products that I use. I realize this doesn't apply to everyone, especially Slashdot users, but it's great for me. Xbox integration is great as I can send messages between my phone and consoles, I can play games, get points, etc. It promises to be even better in the future with the possibility of multiplayer with console gamers. Also, the Windos Marketplace allows for game demos, which is a little nicer than the countless "lite" and "full" apps on the appstore.

    Then there's live integration. You just sign in with your live account and you have access to your calendar, mail, messenger, and best of all skydrive. No other phone offers this kind of integration, not even Google. With skydrive I have 25GB of cloud storage, automatically, for free, to which I can upload photos I take with my phone.

    Next, office integration. Again, free, and robust. It's not great for creating documents, but I've definitely edited power point presentations and excel documents on the road. The killer app here is Onenote, which allows me to take notes on the phone and sync them with my desktop notes.

    Then there's integration with facebook and twitter. I don't need to access separate apps to see someone's status updates; I just go to the people hub, and they're there along with texts, emails, and other communications.

    Beyond these integration features, there are some other features which stand out to me. Wireless sync is one iPhone users constantly crave, and one you have to pay for on Android. Music subscription service is great for those who love music. Then there's the Zune software itself, which I find much nicer to use (and better looking) than iTunes. I especially like how it doesn't install 20 different services.

    Honestly, I think most of the negative feedback about WP7 is coming from people who never used it, and have no intention of forming an informed opinion on the device. In terms of multitasking, it does a better job than iOS circa June 2010 due to a vastly superior notification system. The only thing it's missing is the various backgrounding APIs introduced by iPhone 4.0, which really only address the needs of a small subset of applications. Cut and paste and other missing features will come shortly (~3 months) according to devs. To me, the platform is exciting and has great potential. People only need to give it a chance.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie