Silverlight Futures…

An interesting post from the Silverlight team;

The Future of Silverlight

It’s possible that if you’re interested in Silverlight then you’ll have seen it already but I found it well worth a good 10 minutes of my time to give it a thorough reading.

I’ve seen a lot of commentary around the web over the past few months around how RIA technologies like Silverlight (and Flash) fit into a world where browsers implement some parts of “HTML5” and so I think this is a good write-up that talks about where Silverlight fits in.

As an aside, I put quotes around “HTML5” because I think it’s more than one thing – usually at least HTML5 and CSS3 but it’s quite a complex, emerging world with various specifications and implementations at different stages including of course the great work that’s going on in IE9.

For me, the post is more about what Silverlight offers today than specific pointers to the future but it has some interesting things to say around;

  • Timing
    • Silverlight is a shipped & supported platform today.
    • Silverlight has released and grown on a rapid cycle with 4 ( backward-compatible ) versions since 2007
    • Silverlight users upgrade quickly to the latest version of the platform ( shows that the vast majority of Silverlight users in the UK are on Silverlight 4 )
  • Consistency
    • A Silverlight application can be written once to render the same way in IE6, 7, 8, 9, FireFox, Safari and Chrome so there’s no need to check a feature matrix around “does feature X work in browser Y? If so…does it work well?”
  • Beyond Browser – i.e. Silverlight platform and tools can target
    • An in-page application running sandboxed inline with HTML content in the browser
    • An application running sandboxed with no HTML content in the browser
    • An application running sandboxed on the desktop
    • An application running in a less restricted sandbox on the desktop
    • An application running out of the browser on the Windows Phone 7
  • Core Capabilities
    • Media
    • Consumer Apps and Games
    • Business Apps

I won’t duplicate more of it here – go have a read of the post.