11.04.10

Microsoft is Starting to Dump Silverlight (Phased Out of Microsoft Services)

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Silverlight toilet

Summary: As further evidence of Silverlight abandonment we now have Microsoft removing its requirement in Bing Maps; the future of Windows is doubted in an age of an advanced Web

IT IS BEGINNING to be safer to say that, as much as Silverlight developers wish to suppress and deny the situation (some have gone past denial and are now in acceptance phase), the product is going away and its rather symbolic maintenance in Vista Phony 7 [sic] is a matter of necessity because Microsoft foolishly built a mobile platform on software which would die (Moonlight too becomes obsolete and we warned about it back in August). The subject has been discussed repeatedly in our IRC channels and it sure seems like many Web sites that put Silverlight content in them (XAML) will see it ‘expire’ as Silverlight will become inaccessible a few years down the line (no plug-in). Is Microsoft the safe bet for a business then? Of course not, Silverlight is just the latest example. We’ll also discuss this in episode 2 of TechBytes.

Adding insult to injury, Microsoft is the latest to withdraw from Silverlight, even in its own Web sites (some of which continued using Flash due to Microsoft reluctance). Bing Maps is no longer Silverlight-only from now on:

Bing Maps dropping Silverlight for HTML5

[...]

Microsoft is in the process of turning the Titanic around. At last year’s PDC the shouted mantra was “Silverlight, Silverlight, Silverlight.” Following this year’s PDC the cry has been the exact opposite.

While Microsoft claims that they are merely ‘shifting’ the future of Silverlight and focusing more on HTML5 for cross-platform support, actions speak louder than words, and Bing Maps just made a call that is going to set the pace for the future of HTML5 across Microsoft’s internet teams.

[...]

To recap, the Active-X/3D change has nothing to do with Silverlight, our post was off the mark there and for that we apologize. However, Microsoft is still pulling the SL-exclusivity from Silverlight’s most important ‘hook’ in Bing Maps and letting people run it without Silverlight. Look into the future, what is going on is obvious.

As Microsoft is losing lock-in that’s imposed via the World Wide Web, Windows will become less essential for access to material and Ray Ozzie too recognised this, as he explained shortly after he had left [1, 2]. “DWP CTO predicts the end of Windows” reports The Register this week. Read the explanation which begins as follows:

The Department for Work and Pensions’ chief technology officer has said that the latest version of Microsoft Windows may be the last to be widely deployed.

James Gardner said that he believes that Windows will no longer be as largely needed because there will be “fewer workloads” that require a “heavy desktop stack”.

“Today of course, we have all this legacy that’s coupled to the desktop, but in a decade, I really doubt that will be the case. Most stuff will arrive via the browser,” he said, in a post on his personal blog on 1 November 2010.

He added that it is possible that there will be “ubiquitous wireless networking everywhere, even those difficult places outreach workers sometimes have to go”. This would remove the need for heavy-duty desktop software.

Silverlight is just another dead product in the making and as ~20 Microsoft projects/products per year die or get phased out/discontinued, Windows and Office too will have their judgment day. Unless Microsoft can grow, it will continue to diminish in market value and therefore become more fragile (or ripe for takeover/M&A by another company).

The format of Techrights is changing to account for changing priorities (including Fog Computing, Apple, and Oracle as threats). We kindly ask for patience while a transition is made.

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2 Comments

  1. NotZed said,

    November 5, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Gravatar

    Well you could possibly add the bing maps 3d stuff to the dead products page. Sounds like the whole service is shutting down in 12 months. A mate of mine who joined a product and infested it with c#, wpf and finally the bing maps 3d component (after trying several others) and spent months working with it … is still a true believer even after m$ did this to him, again.

    He also thinks neither WPF nor Silverlight are ‘dead’, and all the net-buzz is just misunderstandings. Ha ha ha.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Well you could possibly add the bing maps 3d stuff to the dead products page.

    Thanks. Will do. It’s a Wiki anyone can edit actually.

    He also thinks neither WPF nor Silverlight are ‘dead’, and all the net-buzz is just misunderstandings. Ha ha ha.

    The Silverlight forum shows many people still in denial. Some reached acceptance and are angry/shocked to see their work and career burned.

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