back to article Microsoft: Silverlight safe against HTML5

The executive leading Microsoft's Silverlight has dismissed claims the rich-media play player could fall victim to internal politics favoring HTML5. Vice president for the .Net developer platform Scott Guthrie Tweeted that Microsoft is investing heavily in Silverlight, with more than 200 engineers working on Silverlight and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Stopping silverlight is MS death

    It would be stupid to think MS is giving up silverlight!

    It is the tool to make sure users stay locked-in with MS tech. It's nice that there is a debate inside MS over this. But in the end strategy wins. And that is to push Silverlight.

    Because this tech is the ideal piece to push other MS tech. Silverlight makes it possible to create an app that runs in the MS cloud, MS browser and stand alone on the desktop. In the mean time it has the advantage of confusing decision makers with the term "multiplatform" which it officially is, but practically is not. And of course never will be.

    Silverlight is the ultimate (strategic) tool for MS windows platform survival. They will think twice to kill it. It's the next IE6.

  2. jonathanb Silver badge

    Does it matter?

    Does anyone use Silverlight? ITV used to use it, but they switched to Flash.

  3. Steven Knox Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    True to Form?

    "...the IE team ... wants to fork the HTML5 spec by bolting on custom Windows APIs."

    Ah, there's the Microsoft we all know and hate.

  4. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "The IE team wants to fork the HTML5 spec by bolting on custom Windows APIs."

    So there'll be an HTML-5-For-Windows browser and and HTML-5-For-Windows world wide web that non-Windows PCs can't render.

    ...Which has been Microsoft's Internet play all along - create proprietary technology that isn't quite standard, and infest the web with it.

    It's the reason why they weren't able to use the name "Java". Remember Java? (It's still here!)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I've been waiting since Silverlight 1.0 for a TileBrush that works. There is no working 3d engine with texture mapping for Silverlight. Flash has PaperVision and Away3d, but they don't have hardware acceleration.

    I'm currently getting 50fps 3d rendering in WebGl / HTML5. The new Javascript JIT compilers are fast enough for audio processing.

    It is never a good idea to question Microsoft's dominance in the corporate world, but I just don't know if they have the resources anymore to keep up development of Silverlight and a competitive browser. It is looking like Microsoft vs Everyone else, and with the new FireFox beta, Microsoft has a long way to go.

    That said Javascript is a complete POS, and the proposed ECMA script changes would have helped, but it is sad to see they are DOA. Seems like Silverlight's biggest advantage right now. I wonder if anyone can put a Mono port directly in FireFox as an alternative to Javascript?

  6. Lashay

    To little attention to the the doom of html5 within this very article

    "Also, the IE team sees HTML5 as the replacement for WPF and wants to fork the HTML5 spec by bolting on custom Windows APIs."

    And this is exactly what will probably kill off HTML5 before it even really gets out the gate, MS start forking it, then someone else will as well, then suddenly unless you are very careful your app is no longer platform independent, hell probably won’t even be browser independent. Bloody CCS/JS nightmare all over again

    Honestly, HTML5 is more of a threat to Flash than Silverlight/WPF.

    Majority of usage for flash is for video players and other minor stuff (excluding games), as they will probably agree a standard for most of that type of stuff in HTML 5 can see usage for flash going way down, Silverlight already lost in that arena long ago (to flash funny enough) but is it (and WPF) are going strong and getting stronger by the day within company’s for internal data driven business applications, something flash does not do well and not seen done well in HTML5 yet

  7. Joel Fiser
    Big Brother

    More HTML5 exaggerations

    The author states... "HTML5 offers an open architecture that all can build and help maintain and that is genuinely cross-platform."

    "Genuiely coross-platform"? Really?

    HTML5 relies on javascript. Javascript is not cross-platform. Developers must jump through many hoops to get it working cross-platform and it still doesn't function the same and never will.

    That's why whenever you try to load up a complex application in the browser that goes well beyond mark-up, you get messages like - "Sorry - you must use IE8, Firefox or blah, blah, blah."

    1. Paul M 1


      that means it's the browsers (and their DOMs) that are inconsistent rather than JavaScript itself.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Objective-J may be a sign of things to come?

      It's not the language you want, but that's not the point I'm making — Objective-J, part of the Cappuccino framework, is in many ways a different language from Javascript but is compiled to Javascript by a Javascript-based compiler for the purposes of the browser. Have a go with 280 Slides to see it in action.

      As an Objective-C offshoot, it's nothing like what you want but I'm sure it's not the only thing taking some language that someone prefers and turning it into pure Javascript just for the purposes of the browser?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    "the rich-media play(sic) player"

    I'm no fan of Silverlight, but it's a bit more than a rich media player.

    You may be surprised to learn that Flash is being used to deliver full applications in the browser.

    Silverlight is the MS answer to Flash.

    It'll be a long time before the HTML5 vapour-standard can replace existing browser plugins.

  9. ChrisInBelgium

    Not very accurate

    "It has seen millions of downloads and has been on the sharp-end of Microsoft's developer and media push in the last few years"

    Nono, it is being pushed onto every new PC sold, thàt is accurate. Millions of downloads? They do try to bolt it onto every other thing you might like to download, that much is true. But real, Silverlight only downloads for the purpose of having Silverlight on your PC? Codswallop!

  10. Mark Rendle

    Silverlight is not closed

    As the Moonlight team will happily attest.

    In fact, technologies which are driven/controlled by a small product team tend to progress much faster than designed-by-committee "open-standards" technologies like HTML5. Just look at the farce that has been Javascript development over the last few years, and the complete failure of those involved to produce a 2.0 of the language. When JS 1.5 appeared, the next version was supposed to be 2.0, with a class keyword and proper support for object-oriented programming. Instead, five years later, we got 1.6, where very little of any note happened to that language. In the same time-frame, Microsoft launched C# and .NET, /and/ produced a 2.0 release with generic support.

    Even now, all the excitement over HTML 5 has come years ahead of an actual, final, concrete specification for the standard; once again the browser manufacturers are bickering over the details and implementing custom extensions.

    There's a lot to like about HTML 5 and CSS 3, and I'm using some of the safer elements of both in projects, but there's a long way to go before I can quickly produce stable, cross-platform, cross-browser software the way I can using Silverlight/Moonlight.

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  12. Anonymous Coward

    Anti-MS FUD, Part 2

    Certainly, BLITZ will also work on every Windows NT version including and younger than XP. (Vista, Win7, Windows Server 20xx).

    Silverlight only works properly on Windows. Microsoft does not like Linux and MacOS, so Silverlight will never properly work outside Windows platforms. It will never work on the fast-growing Iphone, Ipad and Android platforms.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "Cross-Platform" ?

      It runs on XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2010 and 7 ? I mean, "across" all Windows versions ? Indeed, "cross-platform".

      Show me the MacOS X, Android, Linux and BSD versions. Oh they are all crap or don't exist ? Never mind.

      Yeah some moonlighting. Works with 90% of the Silverlight features ? Is not from MS but from Novell ? Great.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Do not be fooled. Silverlight is only partly cross platform.

      MS says themselves Silverlight is not entirely cross-platform since some other platforms do not have the advance technology that MS windows has, so the experience will suffer.

      Or in the words of the register:

      "There is also a new trusted mode, which requires user approval, and enables local file access, COM automation, and cross-domain networking access. [..] More seriously, COM automation is a Windows-only feature, introducing differentiation between the Mac and Windows implementations." (

      And MS themselves: "Microsoft is committed to providing full cross-platform and cross-browser support with Silverlight and to optimizing Silverlight to light up every platform on which it runs," "every platform on which it runs" == some (Mac OS X for instance) except Linux. The moonlight team is working on that, not MS. So MS will not care about compatibility with Linux. So it is not cross platform. It's crossplatformish. (

      And from MSDN : "Trusted applications can integrate with native functionality that differs depending on the host operating system. For example, on Windows, trusted applications can interoperate with Automation APIs through the AutomationFactory class." (

      Silverlight is the next IE6. Using it now, will cost you dearly later.

  13. Tom 38 Silver badge

    I hope Silverlight dies

    Although I do use it a lot, Sky Player is silverlight based, and very nice it is too.

    Sky allow you to use Sky Player on four Silverlight enabled PCs, and one Xbox, although you will find your computer regularly changing it's DRM id, hence causing it to be re-registered, leaving the old one as a phantom - I've had to call customer services 5 times in one year to have these phantom computers erased.

    The other thing this balkanization allows is that there is no Silverlight for android or iOS. I'm not sure if there is a solution for android, but for iOS, Sky get to bilk me for an extra £6/month/device - which only gets you sky sports anyways...

    Sure would be nice to use some sort of standardized approach to this that allows me to choose the device and for them to provide the service.


    HTML5 is not in the slightest bit 'vapour-standard'. You can read the proposed specs at WHATG and W3, and you can use the initial implementations in Chrome, Safari and Firefox. I can list a number of websites that already use HTML 5 video tags rather than flash players.

    If your target audience is mobile users, then HTML 5 is already in use.

  14. Robert Forsyth


    It seems Microsoft's rapid-application-development (RAD) for touch based user-interfaces is 'buried' in WPF.

    Silverlight is such a subset of WPF that the touch RAD features are missing, not giving you a framework much better than HTML.

  15. Robin

    Hubble Bubble

    "more than 200 engineers working on Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)."

    I forget, what's that saying about the quality of broth being inversely proportional to the number of cooks involved?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      It is not a Problem McDonalds. 200 guys frying a meatball each.

  16. YumDogfood

    The biggest threat is the iPad

    There, that stirred the poo for y'all. I've noticed a lot of free apps for accessing content (Rotten Tomatoes, FaceBroke etc) promoted for those with iPads. Sliverlight, Flash, IOS ...Android? Its a shift away from boggo standard HTML and toward apps that just suck on the TCP/IP pipes, bypassing web standards...

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