Farewell SilverLight

Windows 8 (W8) is now official reality. And hidden inside W8 announcement is one very big piece of news indeed. Demise of SilverLight.

According to Microsoft, the software (W8) will also make better use of web technologies, promising

“web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC”

. The company was transparent in targeting the success of Apple and its App Store.

“We’ve talked a bit about how developers will build apps for the new system – Windows 8 apps use the power of HTML5, tapping into the native capabilities of Windows using standard JavaScript and HTML to deliver new kinds of experiences,”

Larson-Green said.

No SilverLight in sight. As simple as that.

Update 2011-06-05


What a good title for this article. I also like it because it is aligned with my: “Google ante portas!”. Summation of the whole of Microsoft strategy, right now.

6 Replies to “Farewell SilverLight”

  1. Wait, isn’t SL a technology that runs in the browser? How can any decision about the programming model of Windows have anything to do with Silverlight?

    1. @BLR Thanks for your comment.

      In W8 desktop is the browser. Surprisingly long lasting part of Windows actually. This time it is only that for W8 (it seems) it is a primary desktop foreground. Not a peculiar desktop background that hardly anybody was using before.

      I think it is pretty certain that SL will be put forward in this stage of W8development, if it would matter. The quote above does not mention SL at all. The primary UI enabling technology in W8 is going to be HTML5. For me this means SL is delegated to the legacy bench. With VB.NET, COM+, ODBC, HTA and other honourable citizens in that corner of every Windows version, which is called “legacy technologies”. It could be easily XAML (SL), but it is not. It is HTML5. From W8 onwards. Browser or desktop.

      PS: this opens very interesting can-of-worms for Windows Phone 7 developers, where SL is the order of the day. But what now? W8 looks suspiciously (to me) as it will “naturally” spread to Windows Phone 8. Single code base, etc. MSFT can’t go wrong on this one. It will be “Windows Everywhere” again. But with hugely important caveat: “Same Version of Windows Everywhere”. Neither Apple or Google have achieved this.

  2. I see your point but I still think it’s a non-sequitur at this point: SL has always been in competition with HTML+JS and has never been an option for desktop programming. Now if Windows Phone starts deprecating it, I agree it would be a whole nother story but I’ve heard nothing to that effect (although I agree that porting that new Win model to the phone makes sense). Its ability to survive at the moment seems to have more to do with the team’s ability to innovate ahead of HTML (as it’s always been) than with Windows continuing to not use it, which is pretty much non-news.
    To be clear I am personally very pleased with Windows using HTML5. With anything Microsoft using it actually.

    1. @BLR
      Agree but. Desktop is not a desktop any more in W8. Browser is a desktop. And in that browser HTML5 is the elected ruler. That decision in W8 has deprecated SivleLight effectively.
      SL could have been in that place but it is not. SL was voted out. In essence it was XAML vs HTML5. And XAML lost. And also, I do not see why W.Phone 8 should not be the same.
      W8 ARM on the tablet is a no brainer. One does not need a crystal ball to see it.

      All the baggage must be minimal. W8 must be quick light and deadly. W8 must win. Google ante portas :)

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