There’s been a lot of talk lately about Silverlight. Will Silverlight 5 (to be released this month) be the last major version of Silverlight? I don’t know, but here are my thoughts on the subject.
Silverlight will stay in the context of Windows Phone, that’s seems pretty sure, but what about the web at large? Is Silverlight (and its rival, Adobe Flash) doomed?
In recent years, there has been gravitation towards standards – that is, world wide standards, not Microsoft’s or anyone else’s for that matter. This is not a bad thing onto itself. But are the standards we’re aiming for the right ones?
Are the features of HTML 5 comparable to Silverlight (in whatever version)? Probably not. But let’s suppose that they are. Usually, when Silverlight is mentioned, its graphics, animation and video capabilities are discussed and praised, and they are certainly impressive. Does HTML 5 cover all those? Let’s suppose that it does. Does this mean Silverlight (and Flash) are obsolete?
I think not. I think clinging to the current web browser client model is a mistake – that would eventually be rectified, but with the advent of HTML 5, it’s probably going to be a while.
Eventually, I believe the web community will come up with a new standard for web applications. One that would embrace a statically typed, compiled language. It doesn’t have to be C#, and the overall framework does not have to be Silverlight. But it has to be along those lines.
I don’t know what would happen to Silverlight. I’m a little worried for WPF, for that matter, in the Windows world. But one thing is for sure: Silverlight is making a difference just by its very existence.
My two cents.