back to article Microsoft banks Windows Phone 7 on Silverlight

Microsoft's Flash-challenging Silverlight media player could be the hidden secret driving Windows Phone 7, the Redmond mobile OS unveiled this week. Silverlight will be named the platform for building native applications in Windows Phone 7 and future generations of Windows Phones at next month's Mix conference, unnamed sources …


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  1. IT specialist

    Windows Phone 7 Will Fail

    Microsoft has shafted the current enterprise users of Windows Mobile.

    NETCF is now gone. All apps are now end of life. For some time, many of us have assumed that WinMo apps would have to be rewritten for Silverlight.

    But all of this isn't going to guarantee Microsoft success in the consumer market. Because of the uncertainty about the new WP7S phone platform's market viability, it makes it impossible for corporate users to commit to it at such an early stage.

    Most corporates are going to migrate to BlackBerry and Android. Windows Phone Series 7 will not be able to dislodge the incumbents.

    1. Mark Rendle

      WinMo apps?

      Yeah, gutted that the extensive range of visually-stunning applications written in .NETCF are going to have to be rewritten.

      Of course, most of the underlying business logic of those apps can be salvaged through the (admittedly complicated) act of copying and pasting it into the new WP7/Silverlight app.

  2. Alan Bourke


    Insert ill-informed anti-Silverlight ranting here.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns


      Insert fact-based comments about Microsoft dumping its previous customers and developers out in the cold - AGAIN - with the introduction of a new and completely incompatible platform here.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "In the PC world, Silverlight can talk to PowerPC in addition to x86 to run on Windows and Linux."

    Since when does Silverlight run on Linux? Moonlight does, but that is always kept about a version or so behind my MS (it's not fault of the Moonlight crew). Please stop perpetuating this myth that MS is having some kind of non-Windows love-in.

    Silveright is Windows mostly, with a bit of Mac on the side. Nothing else.

    It's also pretty redundant now that HTML5 is arriving. Oh, wait, IE can't cope with that. I wonder why? Not proprietary enough?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Windows Mobile 7

    "The big question is whether Microsoft would let Silverlight become just like its Windows operating system ... turning Windows phones into more than just phones but pocket-sized computers?"

    As long as they don't take 4 minutes to boot and require the OS to be reinstalled every couple of months.

    (Not mentioning buggyness or bloat because that would just be truthful^H^H nasty!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Would be nice if it turns out that...

    Just a hunch here, given the killing off of the background stuff, but wouldn't surprise me if under the new OS is actually full bown Win7 desktop kernal. Anyone who's been playing with Win 2011 beta, will know it can be compacted down to a base install of 24MB (without api's, applications or gui and the like). Now, add a custom gui to that as was shown, and we have a unified MS platform which seems to be where MS is wanting to head. One kernal, just add the bits for the desired job.

    After following the development of 2011 (ok now renamed for the RC) it always looked to me that why would they even bother writing a mobile version of the OS when they had it already there. Looking at what they showed, think they might just of done it....well here's to hoping anyhow. Just load all the dependancies for Silverlight onto it, and its pretty much ready to go. Would also fit the timeline for the launch of Standard 7 Embedded if both under the gloss were the same.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I've never installed Silverlight and my web experience hasn't diminished a single iota. I've never come across a site that says you have to have Silverlight installed to see the full experience. Well, tell a lie, just Microsoft's only sites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same goes for Java

      I "forgot" to install Java when I built my Windows 7 machine last September. Since then, the only thing that I have encountered that complained was an applet on a NASA sight for calculating viewing times for shuttle over-flys.

      I installed Silverlight and I know it's been used on some of the sites I visit, and I presume that it's been used in some places that I didn't even notice. I only wish some of the sites that would really benefit from it would migrate from Flash to Silverlight. For example Hulu would be a lot smoother with Silverlights hardware accelerated video streaming. Full screen streamed video on an Atom would be nice, but it's not going to happen with Flash, and it's not going to happen with HTML 5 anytime soon either, without a standard Codec.

  7. Mark Rendle


    It takes a particular type of dunderheadedness to discover that Silverlight being the development platform for WP7 and infer that the phone is going to come without it and require the user to download and install the runtime from inside the browser. Isn't it far more likely that the WP7 OS will include or be based around a Silverlight implementation? (Yes; yes it is. You see that now.)

    Silverlight is considerably more than your writer gives it credit for, too. "Media player", indeed. It is a full-blown Rich Application runtime, with quite a chunk of the WCF stack included for communicating with web services, and is heading for binary compatibility with the main .NET Framework CLR, meaning that assemblies that are careful with their references can be used in both desktop and Silverlight applications. And it's always worth mentioning the multiple language support - C#, VB, C++, Scheme, Python, Ruby, Clojure - all supported in the Silverlight ecosystem.

    Now, is there a grown-up there who can confirm whether (given the platform's Zune heritage) XNA will be supported for creating games?

  8. RoguePlanetoid

    .NET Compact Framework

    According to the Application Development guidelines for Windows Phone 7 it is built on Silverlight, XNA and the .NET Compact Framework - so managed code should be fine just C++ based apps will have to be redone.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Epic Fail

    M$ becomes more pathetic each day. They need to stick to things they do best: Make shitty programs with exploitation holes you can drive a truck through.

  10. Nate Lawrence

    Fact checking and critical thinking...

    "In the PC world, Silverlight can talk to PowerPC in addition to x86 to run on Windows and Linux."

    Well, not to step on anyone's toes or lend fuel to the anti-Microsoft fire, but the only PowerPC machine that I am aware of which runs any version of Silverlight with .NET coding support (read: Silverlight 2 and above) is the XBOX 360. Certainly no PowerPC Mac is supported except with Silverlight 1 which only offered Javascript to "code" in.

    To my fellow commenter, Mary Jo Foley claimed last year to have seen a Microsoft coded implementation of Silverlight 3 running on Moblin Linux, for whatever it's worth. Also, I find the Moonlight team to be entirely reasonable, not railing against the Silverlight team, unlike yourself. Strange when people claiming to be advocates of a cause attack persons or causes that those they are 'defending' never would.

    Separately, to the people whose lamentable comments I am forced to read all over the internet about how HTML5 makes Silverlight irrelevant, I must say that I find it difficult to believe that you are very clever even when you are sober. Seriously. You think that a markup language and its friend the kiddy scripting language provide any competition against a framework which allows real coders to write real computer code? Sheer idiocy, I tell you.

    HTML unquestionably has massive importance, but to say that it will wipe out software designed to write real programs for the web is naive to say the least.

    Plugins exist because web standards have repeatedly shown that they refuse to accomplish what is possible to be accomplished in the current day and always lag over a decade behind current computing practices. Some of us want more of what's possible right here and now and we will simply never accept progress always being dragged down by the lowest common denominator (web standards).

    Standards are by no means a bad thing, but by allowing people from all sides of the argument on any given standard group (a good thing for a balanced standard) they, by definition, doom themselves to a long drawn out bureaucratic deliberation. Plugin makers, by contrast, are generally made by private companies who must provide fast, effective, long-sighted solutions or lose out to competitors, providing end users with a rapidly improving experience with quickly proliferating capabilities.

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