Feeds

Fans roast Microsoft for Silverlight demotion

Careers damaged, technology unready

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

But was it the right decision?

Despite this, was Microsoft right to move on?

Open sourcers might chuckle at the predicament of the Windows fan: if Siverlight had been an open source project, they might argue, then Microsoft's army of programmers wouldn't been left hanging when the project's primary backer changed its roadmap.

The future is certainly uncertain for Silverlight's users, despite Muglia's enthusiasm and attempts at damage limitation. Customers, partners and individuals must now decide their next move.

There are some flagship early adopters — NBC streamed its summer and winter Olympics coverage while Netflix built a Silverlight media player. There was plenty of enthusiasm from a number of partners who felt — finally — that they had an alternative to Adobe Flash. In just three years, the Silverlight player had become installed on "two-thirds" of PCs.

Despite this, Silverlight remained heavily outgunned by Flash and HTML5 as a content authoring and delivery platform on the web and devices. Much work remained to push Silverlight's adoption by key partners and grassroots adoption among those in the wider content community.

A brilliant afterthought to the heavy WPF in 2007, Silverlight quickly became Microsoft's Flash. In 2010, it became a victim of history. With Apple banning Flash from the iPad and iPhone, and with Silverlight still not running on iOS, being "the other" Flash was a dangerous and limiting label.

It's notable that Muglia highlighted the fact that HTML5 can and does work on Apple's operating system. Clearly, Microsoft believes there's more to be had from having apps and content built using Microsoft tools and services than in continuing to push its own vision for a Flash-like player.

Backing HTML5 also suits Microsoft from a cost and maintenance perspective: in supporting HTML5, Microsoft can lower its overhead because it's not rolling its own stack of media technologies, while — handily — being perceived as being more open by backing HTML5.

The company is already showing in IE9 that it can work with existing standards and make them work better, without having to build its own version of a media stack optimized for Windows.

Muglia took a tough — and decent — decision to acknowledge that Microsoft's priorities have changed on Silverlight versus HTML5. This is clearly taking some getting used to among Silverlight users, and it'll be interesting to see if Microsoft feels stung and back-pedals.

If Microsoft doesn't go backwards, the next question will be just how far Microsoft continues to build Silverlight, and how far today's version of Silverlight separates and morphs to serve Windows Phones and PCs. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.