Mar 242012

In December 2011, Microsoft released version 5 of their Silverlight platform. With that release, they filled in all of the remaining gaps and made Silverlight an excellent platform for internal line-of-business applications. It provides web-based deployment, COM integration, support for in- and out-of-browser modes, and all that using C# and XAML. What could be better for the thousands of run-of-the-mill data entry applications that are written everyday inside large corporations?

And yet developers are afraid to use Silverlight. Most devs I talk to think it is somewhere between dead and dying. Microsoft abandoned it, didn’t they? Aren’t you supposed to use HTML5 now? There is some truth to this, but plenty of confusion as well. In this post I’m going to update my position on Silverlight since I last wrote about it, and attempt to give developers a more clear direction on when it still makes sense to use Silverlight, and what it will mean for your career to invest your time in learning it.

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Mar 282011

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how HTML5 is going to kill Silverlight. I hear that Microsoft has admitted that it is going with HTML5 in favor of Silverlight. And I hear that Silverlight is a doomed technology.

Here’s the problem: this is all untrue. Microsoft has not said anything of the sort, and is in fact investing quite a bit of resources in advancing the technology. Secondly, the road to HTML5 is far from smooth.

In this post I hope to examine the current state of HTML5 and Silverlight, the facts around Microsoft’s position with both of them, and offer some opinions on where things are going. Continue reading »