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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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 05, 2010 @06:36AM (#34449596)

    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."

    Especially the work on silverlight undermines the standardization of the web. Even with the Novell Moonlight plugin available for firefox on Linux, Silverlight support on anything but Windos/IE is flaky at best, so developers who care about their websites actually working cross-browser, cross-platform should avoid this technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 05, 2010 @06:46AM (#34449632)

    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.

    It looks like half a clone of iOS and Android. Microsoft saw how Apple and Google finally developed effective smartphone operating systems, copied them, and is now going to leverage its monopoly power to try to force its way into the market while secretly poisoning the pool. Is this a surprise to anyone? This has been Microsoft's strategy for the last 20 years.

    It is time to reject this cynical approach. If Microsoft gets a monopoly here it is going to stifle development like it has everywhere else.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Sunday December 05, 2010 @07:15AM (#34449714)

    Yes, I had gushing things to say about WP7 and I think it will lead to good things for Silverlight. That's my opinion after playing with actual phones today.

    But is it just me or is there a really strong pro-Microsoft vibe here today? Has Microsoft really turned a corner and started offering something people want and need? Or are the MS astroturfers out in force?

  • by whiteboy86 ( 1930018 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @07:34AM (#34449750)
    Silverlight little applications are now trumpeted as native on WP7?

    The absence of true native code in WP7 (C/C++) is a major problem, see, Apple has a clear edge in applications, they allow native code C/ObjC/C++ so people like Carmack can run Doom, companies like Korg can make true synthesizer DSP driven software and even FOSS people can compile and reuse their cherished code on iOS devices.

    In the old days Bill Gates at least did know a thing or two about developers and what they need, it seams that MS is totally losing their vision, roots and edge by doing huge mistakes like dropping support for major native development inroads for their new mobile OS. So much for the Steve "triple developers" Ballmer's promises.
  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:23AM (#34449890)

    it seems to be "not bad" but what is GOOD about it ? ie, is there something it does other OSes don't, or something it does in a much better/easier/even just faster way ? Looking at

    the product intro, my impression is: Meh: so-so hardware, closed as an iPhone, fewer apps than other OSes (which can be understood), fewer OS features... and no Unique Selling Proposition ?

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @08:33AM (#34449918)

    Honestly, this is underwhelming.
    1) all phone UIs are responsive, now that we're finally rid of pre-7.0 WinMob.
    2) as you say "similar to iPhone", only better than.. WinMob before 7.0
    3) software keyboards are just that: software. Many of my heavily-texting friends have bought a favorite one.
    4) see 1)

    I'm not interested by something that's better than WinMob 5/6, because pretty much anything was. I'm interested in something that's better than the defaults choices, which are iOS and Android. In which ways in WInMob 7 better than those ?

  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:32AM (#34450412)
    This time I don't think they will. Both iOS and Android are way too entrenched in the market for MS to muscle them out enough to form a monopoly in this space. And that doesn't even include Blackberry which is in and of itself a powerhouse in the smartphone market.

    MS rarely if ever successfully competes with companies they can't buy out.
  • by A12m0v ( 1315511 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @10:42AM (#34450458) Journal

    Moonlight will never catch up with Silverlight, Microsoft should just release Silverlight for Linux or admit that they want to undermine Linux.

  • by RazorSharp ( 1418697 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @12:06PM (#34450964)

    Silverlight 1 was awful, but now Silverlight 4 is pretty good. I've been developing web applications for over ten years professionally. As I mentioned in a previous post there are a lot of things you can so in SL that you can't do very well in either Flash or HTML5. Your comment shows that you are pretty disconnected from reality and not privy to what corporate customers and end users are really looking to see in web applications these days.

    It can do what? Lock you into Microsoft technologies? While I understand that, as a developer, you may see things that Silverlight can do that Flash or HTML 5 "can't do very well," what exactly does it do that those corporate customers and end users are "looking to see?" (btw -- I loved those examples you didn't provide) Those customers don't even know what Silverlight is. If they have it installed, they never meant to do it or it was just something they clicked while trying to watch the Olympics online.

    Just because Silverlight has some features that you find clever doesn't mean it's good for the internet. It wasn't designed to benefit the internet or small application developers, it was designed to broaden Microsoft's control over the internet, to make it another one of their platforms. Your comment shows that you are pretty disconnected from reality and not privy to what Microsoft's business strategy has been for decades.

  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @02:59PM (#34452448)
    so what's great about WP7 is that it will tie the phone to the Windows Desktop PC? Leveraging that desktop worked for desktop products but it has never worked for them otherwise. Seeing how Android is already hear and moving forward fast, WP7 without any compelling reason over the competition is a yawner.

    And what's up with using Sliverlight as the "native" development platform for WP7? I would have figured it would have been MS .Net. Way to go Microsoft for looking pretty schizophrenic on the vision thing. You know, that stuff you seem to say Google has none of when spreading your FUD about other companies instead of taking care of your own house.

    And they have always brought a barrel full of dollars to the table when bringing out products. They have to pay vendors to use it long enough to get people to think it really is worth using. WP7 is nothing new in this regard. IMO

  • by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Sunday December 05, 2010 @03:54PM (#34452960)

    Please, drop Silverlight and go with something that's open and cross platform.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll