Silverlight Questions

Over the last week there has been a lot of confusion/concern about Silverlight that occurred from an interview given at the PDC conference last week.  A few days ago Bob Muglia (President of our Server and Tools Division) posted a blog post on the Silverlight Team blog that helped clarify what he said in the interview that caused the controversy.  You can read his post here.

Three of the things that he explicitly said in the interview (and which were reported in the article - but unfortunately lost in the public reaction to it) were:

  1. Silverlight is very important and strategic to Microsoft.
  2. We’re working hard on the next release of Silverlight, and it will continue to be cross-browser and cross-platform, and run on Windows and Mac.
  3. Silverlight is a core application development platform for Windows, and it’s the development platform for Windows Phone.

In his blog post he expanded more to discuss some of the core areas we are focusing on with Silverlight going forward:

  • Client Apps (both inside and outside the browser) - with a particular emphasis on enterprise business applications
  • Apps that run on Devices - Silverlight is now the client programming model for Windows Phone and Windows Embedded (which includes things like TVs)
  • Media Solutions – Silverlight will continue to pioneer premium media capabilities and experiences

The “strategy shift” comment he made in the interview was intended to be about us increasing our focus on the above three areas as key scenarios where we think we can really differentiate and add a ton of value with Silverlight.  These are not new areas but rather core things we’ve always focused on with Silverlight and are the primary scenarios customers use it for today.  You’ll see even more focus on these areas in future Silverlight releases.

Where our strategy has shifted since we first started working on Silverlight is that the number of Internet connected devices out there in the world has increased significantly in the last 2 years (not just with phones, but also with embedded devices like TVs), and trying to get a single implementation of a runtime across all of them is no longer really practical (many of the devices are closed platforms that do not allow extensibility).  This is true for any single runtime implementation - whether it is Silverlight, Flash, Java, Cocoa, a specific HTML5 implementation, or something else.  If people want to have maximum reach across *all* devices then HTML will provide the broadest reach (this is true with HTML4 today - and will eventually be true with HTML5 in the future).  One of the things we as a company are working hard on is making sure we have the best browser and HTML5 implementation on Windows devices through the great work we are doing with IE9.

This by no means should be interpreted as Silverlight not being important.  We all know the importance of having the richest possible experiences for key platforms and form-factors, and the value that consumers (both end-users and enterprise) attribute to it. This is not just a true statement for Microsoft platforms - but has obviously been demonstrated by many others as well (Apple being an example).  Silverlight is a strategic technology from Microsoft that enables developers to build those, and we think our investments and focus (in particular with the above three areas) provides us with an incredibly compelling and differentiated platform to do so.  We’ll be sharing more details about some of the great Silverlight improvements coming in the future soon.

Hope this helps provide some clarity - and apologies again for the confusion and angst this past week,

Scott

P.S. I have been on paternity leave the last few weeks taking care of a new baby which is why I’ve been offline recently.  My blogging/twittering will increase again shortly.

Published Thursday, November 4, 2010 8:06 PM by ScottGu

Comments

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:24 PM by Michael Washington

Thank You Scott for being clear and direct!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:40 PM by Ravi Budigelli

Thank you for your explanation. You made a really good point on how difficult it is to keep a proprietary technology on so many platforms when most of the platforms are closed. I really love your posts.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:44 PM by rockinthesixstring

Silverlight won't be truly cross platform until it's on Linux. Really hoping to see Netflix on Linux in the near future.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:48 PM by Eliah Hecht

Thanks Scott, another great post from you. And congratulations on the new baby :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:48 PM by Bibiezt

Thanks for your sharing, it's completely clear me up on things about silverlight

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:56 PM by Dofus

@rockinthesixstring

Just Windows and Mac, as platforms, matter. Linux is for students.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:57 PM by James S

Thanks for the clarifications -- this helps.  While it's not possible to deliver Silverlight on every connected platform, as you state, I think a lot of Silverlight devs would like to see a commitment to at least deliver Silverlight to some of the most popular platforms: in-browser apps on WP7, and Android support in particular.  These platforms are popular enough and "open" enough (i.e. not iOS) that it seems they should warrant full Silverlight implementations.

The other thing that would help are more specific details as to HOW Silverlight will continue to be improved and expanded.  It's one thing to say a technology is supported but not really enhanced (i.e. WinForms), but that's very different to say that a technology will continue to receive improvements on a regular release cycle or that it will be better platform tomorrow than it is today.  I urge you Microsoft to release not only details of the next release of Silverlight, but also a higher-level roadmap depicting at least a general idea of where Silverlight is going past the next release.

My employer is doing a proof of concept in Silverlight for a potentially multi-million dollar project and we want to ensure we are selecting a technology that will not stagnate.  Posts like this one help reassure us we are heading down the right road, but more specifics will ultimately be needed to ensure the Silverlight community and enterprise decision makers that it will remain a viable technology and continue to be improved to support new use cases and applications in the future.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:59 PM by Aargau

Love your posts ScottGu, but I'm here to bury Microsoft's message. One of the differences between business and factual science is, business requires spin when you change direction. It's not OK in business to say, we tried this, it didn't work for business or technical reasons, we're going here instead. So all of us has to form our own opinions about Microsoft's direction based on things other than Microsoft VPs and evangelists, rather than an honest post-mortem from the company itself (BobMu is especially unreliable).  

Not that this is Microsoft's fault, but Silverlight (and eventually Flash, Java-client) are simply ill equipped to compete with a browser rendered multiple platform open standard. When you can control the platform (as in mobile devices) it can work, as Apple shows, but when a comparable competing open platform is available, you're forcing something that won't gain traction. Why would we bet that Windows Mobile can compete with iPhones and Android and iPads when the entire organization defends the Office/Windows PC platform rather than follow the zeitgeist?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:01 AM by Kunal Chowdhury

Thanks Scott for clarifying all the confusions.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:04 AM by Will Green

So, where does this leave WPF positioned?

MSFT seems to be positioning Silverlight as the go-to technology for Windows Client applications. When, if at all, should one choose WPF?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:08 AM by ScottGu

@Russ,

>>>>>> Tell us more about Silverlight on Windows Embedded!  Last I checked the 'code-behind' was only in c++

We'll be enabling a full .NET programming model behind it as well.  Stay tuned for more details...

Scott

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:09 AM by ScottGu

@James,

>>>>>>> My employer is doing a proof of concept in Silverlight for a potentially multi-million dollar project and we want to ensure we are selecting a technology that will not stagnate.  Posts like this one help reassure us we are heading down the right road, but more specifics will ultimately be needed to ensure the Silverlight community and enterprise decision makers that it will remain a viable technology and continue to be improved to support new use cases and applications in the future.

We'll be posting more specifics shortly. I agree that "showing" improvements that are coming is the best way to reassure people.  We plan to do more showing of future features (runtime + tools) shortly.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:11 AM by ScottGu

@Will,

>>>>>> So, where does this leave WPF positioned?

Have you had a chance to read Pete Brown's excellent "Present and Futures of WPF" blog post: 10rem.net/.../the-present-and-future-of-wpf

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:15 AM by SL dev

The only edge the Microsoft could possible have on Apple now is the software developers with Silverlight-Wpf(XAML) tools. These are the only powerful enough means that can bring great experiences to platforms not so hardware advanced as Apple's atm.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:23 AM by James S

Yes, it does.  Thanks for the response.  (Also, I meant "assure", not "ensure"!  Hey, it's late!)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:45 AM by ignatandrei

Thanks and enjoy your child!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:48 AM by mark

Congrats on the new baby!!!!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:54 AM by Johnnie Hardin

Jobs doesn't like Flash because its a "CPU hog" and "old technology"     Whether you believe this or not, Silverlight is collateral damage because of his decision.   Maybe that was part of his intention.

According to NetApplications, iOS is the third largest platform (in terms of web use) behind Windows and the Mac, and ahead of JavaME and Linux.    

Silverlight might have a place for internal apps, but I don't see my customers anytime soon demanding Silverlight (or for that matter Flash).    Apple has put the squeeze on, and I'm amazed that MSFT continues to support their Mac platform (MSFT Office 2011 for Mac is a popular item at Apple stores).  

As a MSFT shareholder and developer I'm hoping you focus your resources with HTML5, and pull back from Silverlight.   And stop supporting your enemies.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:04 AM by Eugene

Scott, congratulations on your new baby! And thank you for clarification?

Does this "strategy shift" thing means that you will add more features that we need in real-world business apps instead of worring of small plug-in size? (like vector-printing, 2D graphics hardware acceleration, more powerfull text rendering engine)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:14 AM by Essam

Congratulations for the new baby :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:14 AM by lahe

Thank you Scott for your explanation

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:55 AM by Sumit

Hello Scott,

Thanks a ton for the clarification and the post.

As someone who was actively considering sliverlight as a platform for the next generation of an LoB application from current webforms implementation, I was a little shocked at the initial news of Silverlight getting the short stick. This definitely helps.

Enjoy your time with the little one.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:45 AM by Maciej Glowienka

Thank You for that clear statement.

I think it's even a bit clearer than Bob's statement.

Anyhow, I wish you the best for your new baby. Girl or Boy?

Regards,

Maciej

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:56 AM by Sam

Scott: The single most important feature we're looking for in the next version of Silverlight is "performance" with almost ZERO memory leaks. Silverlight has to load apps faster. For example, a real complex app like the Silverlight version of Bing maps (especially its apps - like the Telescope) should have greater performance for better user experience and usability. Can you guys achieve that humble goal?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:56 AM by Vladimir Georgiev

Why is there a rumor that internally no one uses Silverlight/WPF. The only app that I know of that uses WPF is Visual Studio 2010. Why hasn't been there a major push for Silverlight/WPF?

First Siverlight was for web then it was for the desktop, now it is for the devices.

Why don't you just say HTML5 is Product Number 1 for us, and cut this illusion with Silverlight?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:59 AM by Gill Cleeren

Great clarification. Now with several comments of Microsoft executives, I hope that everyone will see that all of this was much about nothing. Let's now all focus on building great Silverlight apps again.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:27 AM by Gary Park

Off topic question...

Is there a reason why this blog post didn't make it onto your RSS Feed?

Thanks

Gary

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:28 AM by bedan

Thanks Scott, thanks a lot for the clearance. I was too worried about it. just was a rumor. Now i m safe.

And congrats for a new baby. have good time.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:30 AM by can

Any thoughts on running Silverlight on top of HTML5 and javascript now that we have the HTML 5 canvas and better performing javascript engines.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:32 AM by Anders

Grats with the kid! I came to wonder, do YOUR wife say "He/she shall NEVER play on the computer, but be outside and play!" ?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:43 AM by Dave

Answer: Let's go build kick-ass Silverlight applications...

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:43 AM by Jules

Congratulations on the new baby :)   - The Important Stuff in Life !

Thanks for your support, rather more convincing than Bobs Blog response.

As a Silverlight/.NET fan I would really like to see Silverlight being delivered onto the Android OS.  That would be compelling evidence that MS is still committed to Silverlight on the major platforms.  (And we need to help and support MoonLight accelerate up towards SL4 capability)

We can all agree that MS should deliver high HTML5 compliance in IE9 and the WM7 browsers to support the widest Web reach.

However many of us adopted Silverlight in our products to deliver the deep desktop experience through the web.  Our customers demand Deep rich interactive controls experience, not so much the media stuff, but without the concerns of flaky Javascript errors.  It will take a lot to convince me that HTML/CSS/Javscript platform delivers a robust and deep web application experience to our demanding customers.  

With this reassurance I might now get back to my WM7 development and perhaps have another look at the HTC HD7 at the weekend (already in the UK)

Cheers  and I hope you will get some sleep at least through the next months with the little addition to the family

Jules

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:49 AM by Joe "Loved PDC except for..."

Scott, you always have a way with geek speak that makes developers trust you (no insult intended :-)).

For me, someone just starting with Silverlight development, and very much positive on the technological superiority versus JavaScript, what is needed is:

- Tell us where WPF & Silverlight are going.  Is guess this can be factored down to Microsofts commitment to XAML and a REAL code behind language?  JS doesnt even come close to being a reasonable code behind language for business applications, and I doubt it ever would be.

- Make Microsoft's recommendations VERY clear on when to choose Silverlight, WPF, or HTML5/JS

- Please please please, reconsider your stance on SL on Android.  It's open, and becoming very prevalent in the marketplace.

- Make noise in the press about Silverlight: a lot of damage control must be done after the MAJOR faux pas at PDC10.  The previous poster was 110% right about the headlines - many people, especially those with decision capability only read headlines, and then decide things in a vacuum.

And do enjoy the new little one: congratulations!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 5:37 AM by DennieBee

Thanks Scott, for the explanation. Although I think most of us didn't interpreted Bob wrong, it's good to be clear on the standpoint Microsoft has taken.

Good luck and I hope Microsoft's' HTML5 plans will succeed. :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 7:57 AM by Steve

This pretty much then confirms what was said, and no back tracking was necessary.

I could see the writing on the wall when I found out the flagship Office Online wasn't built with Silverlight.  To me, this really showed the level of confidence Microsoft has in Silverlight from a forward facing web application.

It really doesn't make much sense on the whole 'LOB enterprise application' when you have a much richer and more powerful WPF stack.  Seems to me this is really back sliding, because if your telling me we should use Silverlight on the client intranet app vs. WPF, and then say it's because of 'deployment size' or 'running OOB', I'd say, whatever happened to the click once strategy, and why isn't Microsoft just improving delivery and size of .net framework from WPF vs. an entire new framework of Silverlight ?    The WPF client download is 30 megs, the Silverlight is what now - 12-15 megs?  This isn't anything for an enterprise organization to get .net pushed out on the client machines.

That leaves Silverlight as a media entity, which is where HTML5 is coming to the rescue, because running Silverlight media means it only works on Windows machines, not all the internet ready devices flooding the market today.   I think Adobe released a tool to run Flash as HTML5, so even the giant leader in media delivery (Silverlight is but a sliver, let's face it - Flash still permeates this market), is already ahead of Microsoft in tools to create html5.

So Silverlight is now the device framework for a phone that has been neglected for years now, and MS has what - 5% of the market and has to give WP7 phones away to encourage people to use them ?

I understand MS wanting to give cheerleader support for Silverlight, but let's be honest, the air is being let out of the balloon - the use of it is minimal  - sure, it will be used in many device areas - but this is far from what the original hype has been.

I know MS wishes right now they were saying 'look how Silverlight is being used everywhere and it's really been embraced by users across the world' - but I suspect most consumers have no idea what Silverlight is - they just think it's flash.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:05 AM by SHRAVAN

Since from day one of html5 specifications people are in lot of confusion about the future of silverlight even myself. Thanks for the clarifications scott.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:07 AM by Justin Davis

Scott, congradulations on the new baby!  Thanks you for taking the time to address the confusion.  

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:14 AM by Rob Bazinet

It is really too bad you had to spend the time to put this post together after some thooughtless comments by Muglia.  This really highlights how some of the people at the top who represent Microsoft are so clueless.  You can defend them if you want, but Muglia is just one such example.

This certainly doesn't help the image people have of Microsoft already.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:31 AM by David

Silverlight is now dead in my enterprise because attention was called to the fact that it can't run on iPads and all the execs are carrying iPads.  I'm very sad.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:58 AM by rodo

If Microsoft publish Silverlight roadmap and we see interting features being developen and delivered soon then there would be some credibility. Until then Silverlight as Windows Forms is dead and WPF is dead. All the focus being given to WP7 and HTML 5.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 9:10 AM by Attila

Congratulations for the baby, post some photos if you like to share some moments :-) I remember how great moments are these....

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 9:12 AM by Greg Hollywood

Silverlight Rocks.  Always has, always will!  I think the reaction to the shift shows how important SL is to the community, and the response from the many folks at MS to clarify the situation shows their commitment.

There are really only a few folks pushing the confusion - they will move on after a while.

Greg

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 10:09 AM by Jay R. Wren

All that silverlight stuff is nice to know.

More importantly: Congratulations on your new baby! May your family be extra blessed during this exciting time.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 10:19 AM by axshon

Scott, the best thing that Silverlight can do at the moment, in my opinion is to offer a HTML5-compatible browser control. That will allow for rich applications to be written in SL but HTML5 applications to be available on WP7. Best of both worlds?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 11:00 AM by Bret Ferrier @runxc1

Congratulations on the new baby.  My wife had a baby at about the same time that yours did.  You are lucky that your company gives you paternity leave as I had to take PTO in order to stay with my new one.  Again congrats.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 11:57 AM by Aykut

Thanks for the clarification.

This has to be on asp.net home page Daily Community Spotlight I guess.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:27 PM by Alvin Ashcraft

Congrats on the new baby, Scott!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:43 PM by Joe King

Congrats on the new baby, hope this won't effect upcoming silverlight releases ;)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 12:53 PM by Will

Could you run a 'straight talking' course for some of your peers and superiors Scott?  You seem to be the only person who has combined high-office at MS with an ability to communicate with anybody outside the organisation.  Everyone else senior in DevDiv sounds like a marketing-moron or a wriggling, dishonest, bullsh*tter.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:13 PM by Ben Acheson

Silverlight. Great for functionality. Bad for compatibility. Bad for SEO.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:19 PM by Michael Crump

Spend the time with your new family. Before you know it they grow up. Twitter/Blogging can wait a few weeks. Thanks for the clarification.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:21 PM by Cody

Thanks Scott and congrats on the new Guthrie 2.0!

I would also like to add my voice to consider making a Silverlight to HTML5/CSS "compiler" along the lines of Script#.  Then we could have the best of both worlds.  The Silverlight programming model being able to run out of browser or as HTML5 would make it a killer tool.  In fact that new Portable Library Project introduced at PDC would fit right in there!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:24 PM by Lukeren5

I don't understand this sudden love of H5/Javascript. What's so good about it? Sure it has the broadest reach, but it's a REACH FOR MEDIOCRITY not technical superiority.  

Javascript is a SUB-PRIME programming language. The only apps you can build with it are mediocre sub-prime, sub-5000-line apps. Large-scale apps written in Javascript are a pain in the rear to QA, maintain, evolve and so on. Just look at Google Docs and then tell me how miserable it is in comparison with any version of Office. Why does Microsoft want developers that have for almost a decade trusted in the .Net solution 'shift' to such an inadequate platform?

As someone has pointed out, Steve Jobs would never bother to bow down to such "open standard" hype should he have anything as good as SilverLight at hand. He would give it full-blown support rather than send out mixed signals to discourage his developers and, worse, scare off those the CIOs / CTOs that barely understand the technical nuances.

I bet Apple is right now laughing all the way to the bank seeing how a little shutting SilverLight off iPhone could throw Microsoft into a strategic shift. They ain't shift their iPhone / MAC apps into H5/JS anytime soon. Come on now, stick to your gun. Stick to what is right. If you don't believe in yourself then no one will.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:44 PM by MStephey

At this point most SL developers and their departments have been reassured their direction is sound.  I'm concerned about the clarifications on Bob's comments reaching just a fraction of the people who read of SL's supposed death.  

Any chance MSFT will elevate this story past developer specific blog sites?  

While our direction is clear our future customers may hesitate to install the plug-in based on what they read on some of the more mainstream sites.  I understand a few sites that were quick to jump on the SL death bandwagon posted updates, but it was clearly in an attempt to clarify they never insinuated SL was dying.  Right.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:53 PM by real time collaboration

for most of us, we are building business applications on the web (not flash like ad banners). if having to choose between silverlight and html5, it would be very difficult to go with silverlight due to its learning curve.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 1:56 PM by Robert A. McCarter

Congratulations on the baby, and I hope you're getting some sleep.  :-)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:11 PM by Anil

Loud and clear, as always. Thanks Gu!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:14 PM by Joe

Scott - congratulations on the new baby.

I think it would be better if Microsoft revealed their strategy in full.  It shouldn't be up to clients to second guess based on vague statements.

What is the strategy behind HTML5?  How is .NET going to be leveraged to support it?  is it a runtime platform like the original Volta posts alluded to?  Or are thinking that HTML5 is a full development platform?

We can't wait to Mix to find out - especially if there is no real strategy.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:19 PM by Sirius Lee

The comments made are much more significant that you make them out to be.  Will Silverlight still be supported?  Of course.  Will it be relevant?  Not so much.  At a trivial level this ISV is dropping all Silverlight development following the comments.  In truth it was on the cards.  Our experience indicates no one in a corporate environment has Silverlight installed and corporations either do not allow it or installed 2.0 in the past and will not upgrade.

As a shop using .NET we had high hopes for Silverlight. However Silverlight has been slow in coming, limited and incompatible with WPF in absurd ways (one of manuy trivial examples is why can I create a bitmap in Silverlight but I can't modify one I download from my web site)?  

Perhaps it's a tool that a corporate IT department can use but it's not one an ISV can rely on.  We'd hoped Microsoft would take the opportunity to grasp the nettle and make a platform like Silverlight genuinely cross platform but its not going to happen.   Instead we must use HTML/JavaScript (which just does not perform) or, more likely, have to move to Flash.

It's a dilemma for Microsoft.  It cannot afford to give up its Windows revenues and support tools cross-platform but ISVs cannot afford to ignore the impact of Microsoft's past failure to execute on a mobile strategy.  Mobile devices and pads are here to stay and will likely not run a Windows OS and so not run Silverlight.

A CTO of a large UK government department said this week that Windows 7 is likely to be the last Windows rollout.  In 10 years time (the next time a major upgrade will be undertaken) it is likely that users will have thin clients accessing services hosted on a network.

If Microsoft tools will not run on those platforms, ISV will move to other tools.  It seems like history repeating itself.  Microsoft beat on IBM not by creating better mainframes but by changing the way people engaged with computers.  Now other vendors are changing the way people engage with computers by providing mobile devices.  As then, developers will move to support the platforms users want because that's where the money is.

Without doubt cross-platform is difficult.  But one way or another ISVs will have to solve the problem and it seems that will be without Microsoft's help.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:23 PM by Anagram4Wander

Thanks for that Scott - and congratulations !! - It helps a lot to understand the commitment behind Silverlight... Great news.

As for iOS/Droid support - I have a major application which runs in SilverlightWeb-PC & Mac/iOS - iPOD, iPhone & iPad/Droid - Phone & Tablet - the only difference is the View Code which you would expect (Common ViewModel/Model/Data/Business rules in C# for all of them), using Silverlight for PC/Mac and Mono for iOS/Droid...

Ok, it took us a while to write the common framework for mono (binding/virtualizing/commands/converters/collections/dispatcher etc), but it IS doable.

Seven platforms - 70% same code base for each of them - with the other 30% x 3 for the Views. Silverlight and Mono gives you an immensely powerful toolset - and its performant, now thats coverage.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:28 PM by Phil Jacobsen

Thank you for the clarification. Hopefully the tech media will take note. After decades of software development experience, we're absolutely enamored with Silverlight, and rate it as the vastly superior choice for client-side development. We're relieved to know that Microsoft concurs, as Silverlight gives MS developers a tremendous advantage in the web marketplace. Given the lead time in bringing substantial business apps to market, I think you're going see an increasing presence of SL enterprise apps in the next 12-18 months.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:41 PM by mcmurrin

So when Bob Muglia says "shifting strategies" he means "increasing our focus on the things we've pretty much already been doing"?

ok... well... um... yea... anyway:

We believe Silverlight is the best idea for the future, but like others, have frozen development since last week's announcement.  Any guess on an estimate on when we will be getting a roadmap for the future of Silverlight?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 2:45 PM by KB

Scott, as always, you are clearest and most direct voice at Microsoft.  

This post is FAR better than any I have read on the subject in the last week.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:01 PM by Alex Exler

The biggest problem I had with this whole "shift" thing is a sense that Microsoft makes a bet on HTML5 as a preferred platform for "light" Windows development and using WinAPI for "heavy" one. It aligned with what I see for a number of years when sandboxed and restricted platform is promoted for "masses" while Windows team itself creates new API with no access from those promoted platforms. The PDC with IE9 demoing hooks to OS from browser was just the last drop.

From your post I've got a new hope that Microsoft understands that we still need a modern and effective platform to develop on Windows with 100% of OS features utilization.

Thank you,

Alex

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:12 PM by Cody

>Instead we must use HTML/JavaScript (which just does not perform) or,

>more likely, have to move to Flash.

Personally, in my experience, I think you will find Flash does not perform well either.

Let's face it: all of us see the day when we can run desktop-class applications directly from the web across platforms. We recognize that cross-platform will be more important in the next decade than the previous. The problem is today, and frankly I think for quite a while, it is just a dream.  HTML5 tempts us into thinking it may finally be here or almost here because web-sites work well across so many platforms. The problem is HTML/JavaScript is a document-oriented architecture, and layering on a desktop-class programming model and UI while techinically feasible is a nightmare over the long-run.

That's why Google wrote GWT (for those unfamiliar, you basically write "client-like" Java and User Interface, and then it "compiles" to HTML/JavaScript). It's a clever approach to the problem. I think Microsoft might try something similar with Silverlight/C#. But GWT today is ultimately a "lowest-common-denominator" that has many limitations and incompatibilties.

While we would love to take our code base from Windows to the web and to iOS and to Android and have a rich UI with a good programming model, the only way to produce quality apps on these platforms today is natively. And it will be probably be for years. Websites and applications have some overlap, but they are different beasts.

Silverlight makes writing and deploying desktop quality apps via the web incredibly nice -- as long as you run Windows (or maybe OSX). I don't see anything else that meets those needs coming along for at least a few years -- which is an eternity in our world. I'm sticking with Silverlight.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:37 PM by Amyo Kabir

Thanks for the clarification. This helps a lot. Silverlight is shining again!

Congrats on the new baby.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 3:39 PM by Riko

Hi Scott

If one of the emphasis areas for Silverlight is:

"Client Apps (both inside and outside the browser) - with a particular emphasis on enterprise business applications"

where does this leave WPF? A lot of people have been saying for a while that WPF is being replaced by Silverlight for Windows client applications, but given that parts of Visual Studio and Expression are built in WPF, has reports of its death been "greatly exaggerated" as well?

It would really help if there is a clear roadmap for Windows client development in terms of technologies to focus on.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:39 PM by Stacy

After years watching this Silverlight thing I started to dive in with Windows Phone 7. It was exactly the push I needed. Then you shoot yourself in the foot with this debacle.

So I'm backing off now. You might decide to dump WP7 in 6 months. Who knows! Developing on the MS stack feels so damn risky to me.

Scott, if you were the final decision maker on this, I would believe this explanation and keep going forward with Silverlight.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 4:55 PM by Martin

Thanks for explanation Scott. Do I interpret it correctly that you currently have no plans to support Silverlight on additional platforms, even open ones like Android, etc.?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 5:41 PM by Ken Egozi

Forget SL, Mazal Tov on the baby :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 5:45 PM by Borys

Unfortunately MS Silverlight is still a different kettle of fish comparing to Adobe flash, but it is being improved from version to version. And now Microsoft announced that HTML 5 is top priority...

Why? Who did pursuade them that focusing on HTML 5 is better idea?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 6:10 PM by Brian

Sounds like what Bob was saying is that the *marketing* strategy has shifted...

Also, while we developers would love to see ubiquitous availability of our preferred runtimes across all different platforms, it's highly unlikely to be sufficiently compatible with Microsoft's own competing interests.  On the one hand I'm sure they'd love to bring the chocolatey goodness of Silverlight to the world (of users as well as developers who feed them) but on the other hand they want to drive WP7 adoption and SL has got to be considered a key differentiator in their stragegy (omg, I almost used the phrase 'value proposition' right there...I'm going to need 20 lashes and to read 7 chapters of the Dragon Book to wash away the stink)...if it's on Android then there's less incentive for people to deal with the hassle of changing devices (if not-gasp!-providers).  Moonlight is likely the only hope for getting SL support to the unwashed masses but clearly it's always going to lag way behind not even mentioning the moving target that is the Android platform (and I'm sure it's yet another reason against taking it on as an officially supported platform in the CLR implementation: the runtime team is already spread thin).

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 6:13 PM by Arnoud van Bers

Congratulations Scott!

Good to know Silverlight is still in the picture;

I hope we'll see continued support and effort in it, also in the Toolkit (which is lacking and aging..)

I hope the next Silverlight version will get a speedboost like IE 9 got (e.g. Hardware accelerated drawing), especially on drawing, scrolling ..

Couldn't just leave that out.. sorry ;)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 6:17 PM by mkane91301

What would be helpful is one of those four-quadrant graphs with reach on one axis and richness on the other and show Microsoft's take on where the various technologies fall.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 7:21 PM by Jerry

Thanks for the clarifications, and more importantly, congratulation on the new addition to your family.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 7:28 PM by Bruce

As a developer, talking to programmers, many were excited about the Silverlight technology and just starting to "put their foot in the water".  Some common concerns were about Microsoft's commitment to this technology and the traction that Silverlight would gain.  I believe that Silverlight was just on very edge of really taking off. Now, the Silverlight image is tarnished, badly.

Even the appearance of Microsoft backing away from Silverlight makes people nervous about spending time and money on stomething that might become sort of an afterthought for Microsoft.

I have been waiting for something like Silverlight, nice, clean solutions written entirely in a .Net language. HTML is just one big clumsey work-around with  "mishmash" solutions.  My vote is for Silverlight!!!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 7:55 PM by Info Dave

Silverlight is the next IE6.

Sorry this took time away from your family.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:35 PM by Ferdy

I can see how the emphasis is on business, as the consumer space is so fragmented. But then again, I don't give Silverlight much chance in business either. The consumer space is bleeding into the business space and is increasingly web-based, outside the firewall, on any device. Surely there are still closed gardens of very business specific solutions where Silverlight can add value, but I don't think this applies to the masses. It seems to me that Silverlight is going the way of the Win-only (and perhaps Mac) niche tool for closed solutions where the world is moving in the opposite direction.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:40 PM by Peter Bromberg

Scott,

One of the things you may want to focus on then is to implement as much of the broader HTML5 implementation as is practical at every point in time. Currently IE9 ranks below browsers such as Google Chrome in these broader tests, which causes me some concern.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 8:47 PM by Ferdy

@David. I'm sorry, not wanting to troll, but that guy's website is not a "good website". It is the most god awful blog I have ever seen (not talking about the content). It violates almost every rule in the book of usability and web design. I know you kind of already said that it is not up to standards, but I want to add some emphasis here, for a reason. The reason being, if you want Silverlight to compete with Wordpress-style web apps, it should not just match it, it should rule it. If the same thing can be build in Silverlight or HTML5/CSS3, Silverlight adds no value as it is proprietary, less accessible and has a shaky future. Those shortcomings can only be accepted when there is a clear added value, and I don't think the convenience of .NET coding is considered as such in the real world.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 9:05 PM by Jeffrey Yang

•Client Apps (both inside and outside the browser) - with a particular emphasis on enterprise business applications

 How about .NET client profile,  it does everything Silverlight does execept it does not run inside browser, but this is not a issue with enterprise application.  The minor advantage of running inside a browser from a trusted does not warrant the effort to learn a new set of development platform.

•Apps that run on Devices - Silverlight is now the client programming model for Windows Phone and Windows Embedded (which includes things like TVs)

  What happened to .NET compact framework ?  You can download code from the internet in Phone and IPTV using Silverlight,  but those code need to be safe, that means it can not access hardware and user data without special arrangement (like security elevation). Why not just add a safe code download/exec mechanism to .NET compact framework ?  

•Media Solutions – Silverlight will continue to pioneer premium media capabilities and experiences

  Is there any fundamental reason why Silverlight will always be a better media platform than HTML5,  if not, then it make sense for web developer to stick with HTML 5 and wait for the media capability to catch up.

I think Silverlight is good but not not paying enough attention to help existing web developer.  I would like to see the following features :

1. Based all visual element on a class, say "VisualElementBase", this base glass implement a large portion of gdi+.  This should be safe as long as you restrict the "GetDC" related function call to return only element DC,  not screen or Window DC.  With this,  you can customize any element and create new elements.  Developer will be able to buy great Silverlight control instead of developing them.

2. Add the ability to render Silverlight instead of HTML/Javascript for asp.net controls.  This will guarnatee the support of site that developed using asp.net.  

3. Support the mixing of both Silverlight and HTML5 element inside the object tag.  This will allow content to port to Silverlight piece by piece, as the value is identified,  rather than all-or-nothing approach.  You don't have to implement the HTML5 element exactly, just good enough for content porting.

4. More alternative hostings,  I can think of Gadget, Windows Shell, and standard .NET hostings.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 5, 2010 10:46 PM by JAkes

And there I was about to throw in the towel... just kidding ;). I know people where taking bobs comment out of context. Silverlight is also starting to mature as a product, so naturally there would be a shift on focus.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 2:26 AM by Andrew Tierney

Sorry.. I love .NET but nobody will develop major solutions for silverlight until you open it up more:

ie..

Android (Yes it's in competition with Windows Phone 7) but anything Silverlight for it would then work on the Microsoft Phone.

Linux (Yes.. Its evil, yes its etc etc etc... Cross platform is not just OSX..) Again, with FULL support for ALL platforms more reason to use silverlight.

As for iPhone/iPod.. It would be nice, but Jobs doesn't allow anything to run on his locked up devices.. And it looks like Android is selling more phones anyway.

PLEASE Microsoft.. Release Silverlight for ANDROID and LINUX.. THEN your cross platform will be taken seriously, and developers won't select HTML/Javascript and things like Appcelerator for Phone deployment.

Regards

Andrew

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 4:29 AM by Dudu

Scott, you are worth your weight in gold. I hope your boss takes that into account come annual review time.

And as a MSFT shareholder, I hope that is taken into consideration when it's time to pick a new Chief Software Architect.

Congrats on the new kid. If you really do manage to blog/tweet more often after having a 2nd child, you're a better man than I.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:47 AM by Brian

@mkane91301 - I literally laughed out loud.

@peterbromberg - I'm surprised you didn't come here to blame the whole situation on Keynes.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:01 AM by gianluca gravina

wow, silverlight shift can wait ... congrats for the baby ! ;)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:06 AM by Ddicted Ad

thanks mate , i move from Flash/Flex Technology and i have to tell you WPF and Silverlight is better for so many reasons ,

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:42 AM by David Roh

@Ferdy - The point that I was trying to make was that Justin Angel was at the time a Microsoft Silverlight program manager and a very talented Silverlight developer which makes his blog probably one of the best that could be done with Silverlight at the time which means that Silverlight needs more capability in article centric applications like blogs.

If Microsoft does not promote market penetration very enthusiastically of 100% Silverlight  applications for both data centric (business apps) and article centric web application (e.g. blogs) then Silverlight for desktop applications will not survive and if Silverlight does not survive with a very high market penetration for desktop web applications then it will certainly not survive for WP7.

Microsoft is killing market penetration of Silverlight for web application and thereby killing any hopes for Silverlight for WP7 - ask yourself how many business will deliver Silverlight applications for desktops if they think that market penetration will be low and if businesses do not deliver Silverlight for desktops they certainly will not deliver for WP7.  Some business have already cancelled Silverlight applications and others that were being considered will no longer be considered due to this marketing disaster.

By not working very hard for a very high market penetration of 100% Silverlight web sites, Microsoft is killing an awesome technology.

Silverlight does not need to run on every platform/browser to be a winner - just the most in-demand.

HTML 5 will never have the capabilities that Silverlight has now and HTML 5 will never be a write once - run everywhere technology because different manufactures will implement it a little differently on each platform and in each browser which means we will be back to the same set of kludges that we currently have for HTML as well as not having the awesome language, libraries, and development tools that Silverlight currently has.

Microsoft needs to fully support HTML 5; however, Microsoft needs to also push Silverlight very hard as the technology to use if you want to create awesome apps for the desktop and for WP7 today and in the future.

David

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 11:30 AM by Kourosh Saleh

Hi,

I have a question regarding SilverLight. Do you have access to client's certificate uploaded (imported) to the browser if you make the silverlight application out of browser?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 12:53 PM by Fernando Lencinas

Great News!

It should that SL must continue increase compatibility with other browsers and the ability to continue cross patform, for example to work on "Android Tablet" and the "iPad" that are constantly growing

HTML5 will be able to increase power but it will take many years to achieve the capabilities have Silverlight

We must continue empowering Silverlight.

We are many millions of developers around the world who bet on this technology

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 1:03 PM by Paul

Scott,

I think the most fundamental issue here is with MS's execution with delivering devices that use an SL based interface.  Let's face it, if MS wasn't so very far behind in delivering a consumer appealing phone and slate, SL would not even be an issue.  

If WP7+Metro does very well, then, it would only make sense to develop a Windows slate that adopts the interface in some significant way (that's Business 101, right?) .  However, if MS is afraid to say that SL and Metro are going to a consumer based slate in the future, that shows MS is not truly, deeply confident in the success of the WP7+SL+Metro strategy.  For me to take the time to really embrace SL, I want to know how MS is going to use it in the 3 screens vision.  Is that vision gone?  Did we go from "3 screens" to "sorry, too many screens and were way too late."  As an ASP.NET MCP, I want to know, as I sit and think and dream (without a million MSFT shares, but with my own baby in the next room), will I be able to create SL apps for a phone and then port them to a MS slate later or will I just have to keep being envious of Cocoa/Obj-C dev's?  And how might I be able to create apps for the TV one day?  MS keeps saying that.  Is that in the pipeline for ATT U-verse+Mediaroom?  How do we prepare for TV App development?  Will we be able to create SL apps for Windows Automotive at some point?  And will there be marketplaces for these different technologies?  

Please give me something tangible so that my dreams can be real possibilities if I take the time to really embrace SL.  If MS wants me to meet them have way, I want to know that they are not going to stand me up.  If MS is afraid to at least commit, no [smart] developer will follow; especially with all of the other options today.  Being slow to execute with phone/slate is one thing (not Scott's fault, I understand), but by MS being slow AND being afraid to commit to the road ahead is not a good message. Is that the message?  Personally, I am cool with HTML5 taking center stage for the web.  I can see that the world is going to HTML5 and I want to be part of it with MS; however, if I am going to commit to SL for apps outside of the browser, I want to know the vision in terms of what I will be able to do with it.  

Please do respond to as many of my questions as possible.

Paul

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 6:28 PM by RobZ

Perhaps someone at Microsoft should tell Paul Thurrott, because he's telling everyone that Silverlight is dead.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 9:23 PM by Daniel Dacey

While I can understand that Silverlight cannot be on every platform, every effort should be made to ensure it is on the most common. Granted iphone is an issue, but certainly Android and Linux PC's should be targeted and supported.

That would be enough to keep me and I'm sure a lot of other developers very happy. We don't want support on everything, but certainly enough platforms to make Silverlight an attractive option for commercial software development.

Dan

# re: Silverlight Questions

Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:15 PM by CGomez

It took some serious imagination to read Muglia's comments and decide Silverlight was being discontinued.  So much investment was put in between Mix and release of SL4, it would be baffling to shut it down when it was finally ready for business.

It's obvious MSFT must stay relevant in browsers unless they want to become irrelevant in operating systems.  By making sure HTML5, whatever it becomes, runs best on IE, MSFT makes the world safe for Silverlight, so to speak.

You need Windows dominance to make sure Silverlight is available to you.  While Silverlight could go to Linux, I'm not sure MSFT wants to step on the toes of Mono or perhaps just isn't interested.  One thing is for sure.  It will never be on Android or iPhone because their corporate masters will never ever allow it.

So Muglia was right and the world HAS changed.  More and more internet connected devices are going to come out and forbid MSFT from porting Silverlight (if it were even capable).  That means you concentrate on letting Silverlight be a platform for MSFT devices and for desktop web browsers.

HTML may have the largest reach but it will always be an inconsistent experience.  It is impossible to expect browsers made by different teams reading specs that are not 100% deterministic are going to ever treat all markup identically.

Silverlight and Flash will always be more productive to make rich applications.  You don't hear that Flash is going away, do you?

Did you want an SL5 announcement at PDC?  That would be 7 months after announcing SL4.  That would mean 6-8 more months of devs staying "on the fence" because "I'll just wait for SL5".

Continuing the 8-12 month release cycle was going to be no way to drive adoption.  It needed to get to where it was and now you have to give devs some consistency.  Likely MIX will once again be the Silverlight conference.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010 11:02 AM by Bryan

First of all....Congrats on the baby! They do make baby sized xbox controllers :)

Thanks for update. I'm not sure how the original was blown all out of whack because I didn't take way what the blogsphere took from the interview but the FUD certinally was flying about.

Bryan

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010 5:02 PM by WPF Fan

4 Paragraphs on silverlight. Not one word on WPF. When will someone have the guts to come out and talk straight.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010 6:53 PM by kevin

hmm... would be interesting to see Bob's comment on this post? seriously I hope silverlight will not be another case of Performance point server and we are planning to use silverlight in some of our systems.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010 10:29 PM by Francis

BRAVO SCOTT!

You saved my professional and entire life!!

W Silverlight, we don`t want Html 5 nd Javascript.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010 10:46 PM by mP

is this is why putting all your developer eggs on platforms run exclusively by one the company(Microsoft) is always a risk. Just ask the old Visual Basic 6 coders what happened when Microsoft got a new idea, or what happened to the Iron family of languages like Iron Python and so on. That entire exercise was abandoned even though the CLR is supposed to be a multi language (static /dynamic language platform).

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 5:12 AM by Andy O'Neill

I'm a contractor working for a software house.

This morning the Technical Director walked in and said to me "Microsoft are canning Silverlight".  He's reckons he's got an "official" email from microsoft telling him only development for windows phone will continue but there will be no future development for desktop machines and HTML5 is primary direction.

Up until then I was blissfully unaware of all this.

A while back I was reading how the commitment to developing WPF wasn't there and how there's only a skeleton crew of developers working on it.

Someone at microsoft needs a slap round the head.

WPF and Silverlight are the best products coming out of MS and you guys need to get your act together.

It's good to hear that enterprise development support is going to coming along in a while.  What I can't understand is how a report viewer wasn't in SL 3 let alone SL 4.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 5:25 AM by Ben Acheson

While to an extent I agree with your comments about Java script Lukeren5, I don't think you're being entirely fair on HTML 5.

I think the compatibility and parsing flexibility (and syntax error handling) aspects of HTML 5 make it really useful.

Have a look at these HTML 5 examples:

http://html5demos.com/

My main concern about Silverlight is that I see a lot of customers whose browsers don't support it properly. That's not just their problem. It's your problem too, if you use Silverlight for business critical applications.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 8:10 AM by David Roh

@Ben Acheson

Do the browsers that do not support Silverlight properly support HTML 5 properly - if not, when will they?

David

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 9:36 AM by Rob Adrian

Scott,

While I hold out little hope that this entry will be read, as you have a ton of them, however.....  This is one of the most important decisions Microsoft can screw up.  I have been a MSFT developer since the companies first public offering, and defend it constantly.  However, this decision about SL is very concerning.  There is spin in everything, and it was clear that Bob should have practiced his talking points with a focus group first.  That being said, MSFT has had little choice other than to back peddle, or, "explain away" the angst over his comments.  

Business point - I think everyone will agree it is a fools errand to implement on all platforms, however, as they teach you in self defense, "when approached by a group of enemies, chose the one who seems to be the leader, and take him out.  The rest will more than likely take notice and leave".  The point is that while MSFT is proud of their OS, and should be :) , it is still the underdog playing catch up to the rest of the group.  Android is stomping everyone else with a trajectory that is near impossible to overtake( at the moment ).  So, MSFT can either chose to beat their chest in pride and ignore the fact that being MSFT doesnt mean success, or develop a runtime for the fastest growing OS platform in the Mobile industry.  If they should chose to do that, they would be the ONLY company that could invite Android users to a competitor app store, and actually leverage the success of Android to market THEIR apps.  I have commented in tons of Linked In Discussions and Questions on this and the end comment has always been "It's MSFT's game to lose".

Please dont let MSFT lose again.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 9:37 AM by PJC

@Ben Acheson. You wrote: "My main concern about Silverlight is that I see a lot of customers whose browsers don't support it properly."  

Ben, our experience has been that our SL business app, which is quite robust in code complexity, renders and behaves exactly identically on all major browsers. Exactly which browsers are you referring to?

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 9:38 AM by Crispin

"and trying to get a single implementation of a runtime across all of them is no longer really practical"

This conjurs up a picture for me Scott.... of a CEO sitting in a room, looking at some market share figures which he can drill down across devices, he summons his VP of development...

CEO: So now we have all these devices out there - and with our flagship "rich browser experience" we can't reach n% of them, is that right?

VP:  I'm afraid so Sir.

CEO:  So whats the roadmap, we'll be able to extend our reach in the next couple releases though won't we?

VP:  I'm afraid not Sir.

CEO:  Not at all?

VP: No Sir.

CEO:  So whats our best chance of gaining a foothold in these cross device markets then?

VP:  Through HTML5 Sir.

CEO: "Our strategy is shifting then isn't it."

So many others can see the same picture Scott, and we all have massive amounts of time invested in this technology.  Forgive us our scepticism, but for me this smells exactly like the death of VB6.  

"The developer community is core to us. We need to make sure that all of you who bet on us so heavily, by applying your time and your energy to learn, to become productive in building VB applications, and building for Windows, we have to make sure that we don’t let you down. We give you the tools that will help you with what you were doing yesterday, today, and what’s going to be demanded of you tomorrow."

This what what SB said just 1 year before he killed VB6.  This is what people can smell in the Silverlight statements.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 11:27 AM by Judah Gabriel Himango

Ah, this is what I like about the Gu. No marketing BS, just the facts, ma'am.

Thanks for this simple, clear post!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 4:50 PM by Artem Tikhomirov

Congratulations, Mr. Gu!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 8, 2010 8:37 PM by sh1rts

Good info to know. Congratulations on the new addition Scott :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 1:31 PM by Eduardo

Scott, is it possible for you to answer the next questions?

1) As Microsoft, are you happy whith the architecture with which Silverlight was conceived?

2) If not, which things should be changed?

3) Is it possible for Microsoft to "translate" silverlight to HTML5 easily in the future?

Regards,

# re: Silverlight Questions

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 5:37 PM by VH

SL brought the hope of cross-platform RIA applications that have state residing on the client. The promise, if fulfilled, is huge. But the most important goal of SL should be ubiquity, and despite making some inroads with MacOS, ubiquity of SL is not there yet, and the effort to fix that comes across as somewhat anemic. MS should be driving SL very hard to every popular platform (Android for example) to have a chance in the fight with Html5.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:03 AM by David Roh

Silverlight has so many advantages over HTML; however, it has an Achilles heel of market penetration - without significant (above 90%) market penetration on desktop browsers Silverlight will not survive on the desktop and if Silverlight does not survive on the desktop, it certainly will not survive on WP7.  

Silverlight is the major reason to develop on WP7 so the lack of desktop browsers penetration will mean that Silverlight will not survive on WP7 which means WP7 will not survive.

Silverlight can only survive if Microsoft enthusiastically supports Silverlight with both a major marketing and engineering effort - the lack of marketing support from Microsoft is very discouraging!

Silverlight does not need to run everywhere - just on the most in-demand browser/platforms (Android is an in-demand platform - Slates will make iPad less important).

Silverlight has so many advantages over HTML:

   - State on the client's machine is huge

   - Great user responses on the client machine without a round trip to the server

   - Great language support such as C#

   - Great libraries

   - Great development tools

Reality is not nearly as important as perception - and the perception right now is that Microsoft will support HTML 5 over Silverlight which will kill Silverlight.

Microsoft must fully support HTML 5; however, at the same time Microsoft need to enthusiastically support Silverlight as a much better more capable technology.

Microsoft is making a very serious blunder if they allow Silverlight to die.

David Roh

# re: Silverlight Questions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9:10 AM by Joe Abraham

Hi Scott -

Might be that the following would make the message clear - Package Silverlight along with IE9. As of now, have SL 4. As and when SL 5 comes, provide that as update along with the other updates to IE9 (or who knows, IE 10), or the user themselves would update if prompted by a web app which requires SL 5.

Why is Microsoft refraining from doing something like this if it is serious of pushing SL as a technology which compliments HTML (whichever version it might be)?

Regards,

Joe

# re: Silverlight Questions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 11:48 AM by Mike Graham

The CLR ate my battery, and other Silverlight tales:

Once the desktop became sufficiently powerful, Java, Flash, and Silverlight hit the big-time.

But then along came the smart phone and slate form factors, with their (relatively speaking) weak processors and low power requirements.

With that, Apple exploded onto the scene with a development environment that's soooooooooooooooo 90's - but it does sip the power and it runs fast on weak processors.

What will happen next ????

Will battery life improve?  Will processors for smart phones and slates become more powerful?  YOU BET !!

Will the army of (currently worried) developers for Silverlight build the best user experiences folks have ever seen, all running on Silverlight?  YES !!

Stay the course...  Port Silverlight EVERYWHERE you can !!  Keep up the AWESOME work with Office 365...

And thank you for all you guys have given the world :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:01 PM by Gregg

Congratulations on the new baby, Scott!

# re: Silverlight Questions

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 5:47 PM by ITheTerrible

I think that Microsoft will need to do a bit more than an email campaign to repair the damage. I think this message is not coming only from Bob, but from many other MS employees. I just got back from a conference in SF and I got a similar message from other MS presenters.

Here are some ideas that could help you to repair the damage:

- Make it clear to all your employees that SL is a top MS project.

- To make it crystal-clear, put more R&D resources on SL and have even more frequent dev. cycle.

- Release Silverlight on Linux and other platforms

- Integrate Silverlight in IE9

- Work with your browser competitors to make Silverlight plug-in default part other browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc). For example, Google integrated Flash as a part of Chrome.

- Market more aggressively against Flash (The feeling is that SL is losing the battle with Flash as a preferred plugin).

- Open-source Silverlight runtime so that it can be ported on more platforms (similar to what Apple and Google are doing with WebKit and their browsers).

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:44 AM by CathalG

I agree with statement made by Lukeren5on the 5th, basically Steve Jobs would not commit to a low end technology. He would just tell everyone that the other was rubbish they would facilitate it but that their stuff was far superior. HTML5 is basic standard for the masses for low-end devices and SL is for high-end internet experience. Also by making Silverlight as only the future phone development technology, it is killing it,  Windows mobile has a decreasing percentage of the mobile OS market (in fact Bob could release statement about dropping that next and would make more sense than the SL statement).

Scott, we need it to be clarified that HTML5 is a just something MS is facilitating to allow websites run on more devices but that Silverlight is the only technology for enterprise internet applications. This what Apple have done, their statement is you can browse the web, but if you want anything really powerful, it is an Apple App with Object C and COCOA, and go buy a MAC to develop it.

If you don't have confidence in your own technology how are others going too?? Lets get an Android and iPad version of Silvlerlight that'll show real commitment.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Thursday, November 11, 2010 9:55 PM by ms

the bottom line is that Microsoft should be working with standards organizations to merge the few things that SilverLight does well into the HTML standard.  but, general, I can't recall many things that SilverLight does that HTML doesn't!  perhaps having cabinets of images, javascript, etc... would be useful.

but a silverlight applet, since it's not part of the DOM, is silo'd content that can't be indexed and/or repurposed easily.   so, if you really like templates, use active data not XAML! ;-) etc...

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 12, 2010 2:15 AM by Khurram

Microsoft released Silverlight for Symbian/S60, great work...it was more or less Silverlight 2...Will it be updated further?

It would be nice for developers that similar to desktop browsers, Silverlight maintains the feature parity across mobile browsers (WP7 browser is missing Silverlight support; it should come there, Symbian/S60). We can live with two different variants (like Flash and Flash Lite).

What about IE-Mini for WM7, Android and Symbian..with support Silverlight :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 12, 2010 4:40 AM by David Roh

The Dec Silverlight Firestarter is a great idea especially with Scott Gu!

Awesome!

Thank you!

David Roh

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 12, 2010 7:03 AM by kamii47

Nice post Scott.

But Bob Muglia Have to be very very careful in giving any remarks in such a big event[As All knows PDC is always a trend setter].Now what ever will be said in favor of SL but damaged has already done in the developer community

# re: Silverlight Questions

Friday, November 12, 2010 2:25 PM by Harish

Thanks Scott for clarifying, and eagerly looking forward to the firestarter on 2nd Dec.

AND, congratulations on your baby!!

Thanks,

# re: Silverlight Questions

Sunday, November 14, 2010 11:05 AM by Panya

Scott, Would you and your team take some rest from ASP.NET MVC

and get back to Silverlight please?

I see you and your team have had enough fun time playing with MVC.

But today Silverlights are very critical.

If it is really an important strategic to Microsoft.

Then you should build/ship something faster than these MVC toys by now.

I'm not an MVC guys so I'm not impressed much on its "Weekly Updates".

What I'm looking for, and I believe many developers are,

is any good signs from Silverlight platform for Windows Phone 7.

They are full of disappointing list you might have heard about SL on WP7.

Can't you just see WP7 is dying? We've trusted in this platform.

We give you faith even we're tempted by the others. We have invested much on it.

And we just can't see it's been destroyed without any appropriate actions.

Better show us what you've done than just clarify and give us another hopeless promising.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 15, 2010 11:33 AM by Troy Wilson

I was reading a blog on a Microsoft Visual Studio parter's forum (Visual WebGUI) and they said:

Hello,

From the information we received from various sources, Microsoft is currently planning to continue supporting Silverlight for the purpose of mobile devices only.

Further stabilization of the Silverlight Core and the release continued work on Silverlight version 5 will not occur, as a result of the previous statement.

As a result we will probably not be able to support Silverlight as it will itself not mature. This is not due to a lack of resources on our side though.

Visual WebGui inherently supports HTML5 already and will continue to.

Visual WebGui developers can right now create custom controls that incorporate HTML5 and use it's features, to do stuff they would normally have to use Adobe Flash or MS Silverlight for.

We are making a huge effort to stabilize our framework in the form of v6.4.0 Release currently, later with v6.4.1 (previously called v6.4 FC) and later with v7.0.0.

Thank you for your valuable input.

Regards,

Ori Cohen

Support Manager, the Visual WebGui team

So is that true that you are only supporing Silverlight on Mobile devices?  Please clarify.

Thanks

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 15, 2010 3:36 PM by Michael Evans

Thanks for really explaining the future of Silverlight.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:25 AM by Lee

As the only job board in Australia which is pure SL4, we invested a lot in Silverlight.

I am sorry to say that fighting HTML5, Flash and iPad/iPhone is becoming too much for too little - 40% of our unique browsers are wasted because of no SL plug-in. People do wish to install Silverlight. As if Flash was enough, we then got iPad and now the HTML 5 saga. Scott, I am sorry to say that, but if MS will not purchase Adobe or bundle SL in Windows, Silverlight will die as a web technology.

Lee.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 8:04 AM by nikos

Congrats on the new baby.I am glad all is clear now. i know you people will say more on the silverlight firestarter event.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:41 PM by raymundohill smith

I think it really depends on what type of Silverlight / WPF development is going to be done. Is the dev going to work on LOB applications, or tooling or games, or something completely different? This changes what part of the technology is going to be used and thus changes the questions you should ask.

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, November 29, 2010 10:03 AM by Billy

thank you for clarifications, I wasn't really worried but my sponsors were, so thanks and congrats for the new baby :)

# re: Silverlight Questions

Monday, December 6, 2010 10:57 AM by JohnDr

You mentioned Silverlight running on Windows Embedded - any indication of when this will be released? Currently we have our own managed implementation and are wondering if the timescales allows us to adopt, or if we will have to migrate at a later date.

Thanks for your time

Regards

John