Silverlight Left for Dead by Windows 8 or Something More Exciting?
Silverlight has been a part of Windows for some time. Many of us see this on our Windows operating system and have never really understood what it is about, and why it is there. Silverlight is actually a browser plugin that enables rich content on browsers. It was Microsoft’s answer to Adobe flash. Interestingly enough, when Microsoft released more information on Windows 8 development, it did not take long for developers to realise Silverlight had been left out. This has created some serious concern, especially for those who have dedicated their career to SL. Here is a look at the issues related, and a calmer look at what is probably the case.
• Weaning Away. Because of the importance of HTML5 and JS to the new Windows 8 upgrade, we can be certain Microsoft is moving away from Silverlight. HTML5 and JS applications are essentially OS indifferent, they can operate in any browser and on any OS. We can see that MS is trying to direct those developers who have been working on SL to start moving forward with more HTML5 and JS development. This is a big shock for developers and application programmers alike. There are those who can already work with HTML5 and JS, who have not been able to develop independent applications, and now they will be able to. What this will mean is a convergence of professionals who work using HTML5 and JS to develop applications, although normal applications will also be developed for Windows.
• Cloud. Microsoft is moving towards cloud computing in a big way without saying it. SL and .NET are still very important to the Windows platform, and at the same time they are a stumbling block to allowing developers to make a single application and port it over to Windows. It is obvious MS is moving towards applications that can run on any OS and towards applications that are designed for cloud computing. This is very evident because of the nature of the new operating system that will run on all devices, and it allows for HTML5 and JS applications to run directly on the OS.
There is still time for MS to wait until it lets us all know its intentions. Rumours circulating are hinting that MS will still support Silverlight with Windows 8, and it will be more than a browser plugin. This could actually be a very exciting new development.