Microsoft abandons Silverlight in favour of HTML5

By Tom Warren, on 30th Oct 10 9:57 am with 5 Comments

Microsoft has admitted that their strategy has “shifted” for Silverlight.

Speaking at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this week, Bob Muglia admitted to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that “HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything”. Muglia made his comments at a time when Silverlight developers are crying out for information on the future direction of Silverlight and any hints at Silverlight 5.

“Silverlight is our development platform for Windows Phone,” said Muglia. The Microsoft President, in charge of the company’s server and tools division, assured Foley that there would be a future version of Silverlight and that it would be very much in line, in terms of functionality and features, as Silverlight 4.

Microsoft is investing heavily in HTML5 for Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft has also introduced broader support for HTML5 in IE9 through its new script engine. Microsoft recently performed W3C Web Standards tests on IE9, including HTML5, SVG 1.1 2nd edition, CSS3 media queries, CSS3 borders & backgrounds, CSS3 selectors, DOM level 3 core, DOM level 3 events and DOM level 2 style. Microsoft’s IE9 is the first and only browser to deliver full hardware acceleration of all HTML5 content. Other competitors, including Mozilla and Google, are planning select hardware acceleration but at the moment Internet Explorer 9 wins hands down.

Microsoft recently revealed that IE9 will go straight to Release Candidate for its next public build. Dean Hachamovitch, VP of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, revealed that “the IE9 platform is nearly complete.”

  • Andrew Stockdale

    Makes sense, I love Silverlight, and it’s fantastic for WP7, but there’s too much Silverlight/WPF inbreeding on the desktop. WPF stuff can (sort of) run in a browser…

  • GP007

    Abandoning is such a strong word, they’re not really doing that, they’re just using it as the platform of choice to make apps on WP7, and you can still do so on the desktop or web if you want. They’re just saying that HTML5 is the best choice for browser based things, that still leaves all the Out of Browser apps and all the mobile apps and so on. I think SL will be around for quite some time actually.

    • Tom W

      Well a change in strategy is pretty much the same thing as abandoning. Their focus will be on HTML5, leaving less development and support for Silverlight.

    • GP007

      But that’s only on the web, it’s still a big part of mobile going forward, less support might just mean slower updates than before but I doubt it’s headed to a slow death or anything.

  • Mike Staszel

    Microsoft is finally getting back in the game.