I don’ t want to get in to the big picture “Adobe vs. HTML5 vs. Silverlight” discussion, I think its been done well elsewhere.
However, if Mary Jo is right in her recent article about Microsoft’s intentions, I’m a little worried:
“Silverlight is our development platform for Windows Phone,” he said. Silverlight also has some “sweet spots” in media and line-of-business applications, he said.
But when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, “our strategy has shifted,” Muglia told me.
Muglia didn’t share any kind of timetable as to when Silverlight 5 might make its debut. He did note that the delivery pace of Silverlight is slowing. “As with anything as it matures, the (delivery) cadence changes,” he said.
So, if Microsoft is “embracing HTML5” why am I worried?
Of course, there’s ASP.NET/MVC, and of course we love it for consumer facing web apps – but it makes assumptions that the developer can deliver good markup, which will need to be tested on IE7, IE8, IE9, FF2, FF3, FF3.5, Chrome, Safari… need I go on? Of course JQuery makes that easier than it was, no doubt – but I think what I liked about Silverlight is that I could put a good developer who knows XAML and C# well, sit him down in a chair with a good set of tools, and out would come easily managed well formed code. To do a good job in ASP.NET/MVC the developer needs to be expert in a much longer list of technologies.
If I had my way, Microsoft’s IE9 would do a good job supporting HTML5 – but Microsoft would continue to invest in developing Silverlight, and not just for the phone. I guess I’m just afraid of how far they’re going to turn the ship…
A recent Microsoft publication addresses some of the concerns above and makes for good reading on the future of Silverlight.