Being a Silverlight developer these days is like being a fan of the Oakland Athletics, the baseball team made famous in the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball.
Some heritage, for many who are not followers of the A’s: for just about 3 years now, A’s fanatics and staff ownership itself had been looking ahead to prime League Baseball brass to decide on whether the A’s can move approximately 35 miles south to San Jose. within the intervening time, this has left lovers in limbo approximately the future of the staff.
Silverlight developers are in a similar predicament. Although Microsoft released Silverlight 5 in December, the company has since been silent about any future release of the platform, saying it is too early to comment.
That doesn’t sound like a big deal until you factor in the fact that the company has been fawning all over HTML5 lately.
HTML5, in fact, provides a requirements-based totally set of technologies for multimedia-based web applications and is regarded as a rival to plug-in technologies like Silverlight and Adobe’s Flash platform. Microsoft raised eyebrows this prior September while it introduced that no plug-ins would paintings with the Metro version of the web Explorer browser deliberate for home windows eight. In other phrases, HTML5 got the nod over Silverlight.
Meanwhile, the annual Microsoft Mix conference, which has been used to showcase Silverlight, is not being held this year. Mix instead will be merged into Microsoft’s next developer conference to be held later this year. Personnel-wise, Microsoft Vice President Scott Guthrie, who had been a key advocate for Silverlight, has moved onto dealing with the company’s Windows Azure cloud platform. Guthrie declined to comment on the fate of Silverlight when asked at the Node Summit conference in San Francisco last week. I don’t work on that team anymore, so I’m not going to put words in their mouth, Guthrie said when asked the prospects for a Silverlight 6 release.
Silverlight was a rising star just a few years ago, when it was expected to give Flash a run for its money. But HTML5 has taken the luster off of proprietary plugins. Microsoft and Adobe have really had no choice but to embrace HTML5 to a degree. Microsoft’s silence on Silverlight at this juncture might not mean all that much: Silverlight user groups are still found on Google searches, and Silverlight developer jobs are listed online as well. But given the cloud over Silverlight, it might be time for Microsoft to come clean with either an upgrade plan for the platform or some other clear statement of direction.
Unlike A’s lovers, who have persisted greater than 1,000 days of respectable silence in regards to the group’s fate, Silverlight builders will want to recognise quickly what kind of future they may be able to be expecting for the platform.