Altabel Group's Blog

Windows 8: The death of the Silverlight framework?

Posted on: June 29, 2011

I think many of you have been keeping up with the Windows 8 announcements and you are aware that Microsoft made a bit of a stir in the .NET development community with their 10 minute demo of Windows 8. They explicitly mentioned HTML5 and JavaScript as the ways to build new-look Windows 8 applications while there’s been no mention of Silverlight or .NET and their place in the OS. The developer communities of both technologies have been panicking a little as a result. Because of Microsoft’s lack of assurances, there’s a chance that both might see a diminished role in the OS. If that trend continues, there is a possibility that .NET and Silverlight could soon die, leaving a bunch of developers’ skills useless.

Many think it won`t happen, at least with .NET as it’s widely used by some high-profile companies. Silverlight… there is a little bit of concern about it.

Obviously, we can`t suppose what Microsoft is planning for Silverlight, but some people are beginning to have difficulties understanding how any company could still trust it as a viable technological choice. First the mixed messages, then the clear favoritism Microsoft is showing towards HTML5 and JavaScript (which, IMO, is justified but that’s another topic), and now the unwillingness to stand up for one of their products that is being doubted so openly, for the first time by its very users who only want assurance of Microsoft that their investments in the technology haven’t been a total waste.

What are your ideas ? What is the future of Silverlight? Do you think developers will switch from SL to the more open standard of HTML/JS?

Anna Kozik
Altabel Group

1 Response to "Windows 8: The death of the Silverlight framework?"

I think that Microsoft will keep SL for a while on Windows Phone, but support on other platforms will be reduced as it will be substituted by HTML5/JS.

Eventually, HTML5 will rule on all MS platforms, and SL will have no reason to be maintained any more.

Regarding the future of .NET, that’s even trickier to predict what will happen.

In the Web front (ASP.NET), there has been a persistent shift of code to the client side and this movement has been going on for the last 5 years now. AJAX, jQuery and JSON have been the main forces so far, and now HTML5 is being added to the mix, so, the downplay of .NET in the ASP.NET side is clear.

On other fronts, .NET is strong so far, what things change over time …

Kind regards, Gastón E. Nusimovich

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