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Microsoft's Silverlight Strategy 'Has Shifted' 212

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like Microsoft might finally be realizing that Silverlight can't cover every platform, according to this conversation with Bob Muglia: '... when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, "our strategy has shifted," Muglia told [ZDNet]. Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. "But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple's) iOS platform," Muglia said.'"
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Microsoft's Silverlight Strategy 'Has Shifted'

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  • "But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple's) iOS platform,"

    I believe you meant HTML 5... right? =V

    • I mean, unless I missed some HTML 4 or lower video inclusion somewhere.
      • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

        You did, its called the object and anchor (a) tags. It just isn't exactly what a lot of people wanted.

  • Well, duh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caywen ( 942955 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:33PM (#34068968)

    I would think that HTML 5 being more cross platform is pretty obvious. Along the gradient of machine code -> interpreted/jit code -> scripting -> markup/declarative language, the more to the right you get, the more portable you inherently become.

    • So, future of programming is HTML5? We are doomed just like Neanderthal people (with last remaining male representative being wasted MTV celebrity on LSD).
      • So, future of programming is HTML5?

        Only in the parallel universe where web applications are an appreciable percentage of the total software in use.

        Web apps are certainly more visible than other apps, but for much the same reason that TV shows are more visible than other forms of art: everyone (or nearly everyone) has a web browser and a TV. But just as all the television shows ever made represent fewer works than are in the average large chain bookstore this evening, web applications represent a negligible proportion of the software in use.


    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      Well, not really.

      There are still things in HTLM3 that not every platform does.

      It all depends on who has access to reference environments, money, access to the internals, and motivation to make the changes to make it work.

      Microsoft, being buried in cash and having access to just about anything it wants to play with, and the only access to Silverlight, could easily set a goal of making it better propagated than similar functions in HTML5.

      I think what it really wanted was for, somehow, people to adopt Silverli

      • by vakuona ( 788200 )
        Or maybe, they realise that the more HTML5 apps are out there, the less of an advantage iOS and Android have over them in the mobile arena.
    • Re:Well, duh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:17PM (#34069380) Homepage

      the more to the right you get, the more portable you inherently become.

      No, you don't. That is only the case if the language(s) you're dealing with are transportable due to having a virtual machine/runtime compilation design - and those languages have a multitude of platform-specific interpreters.

      Examples: perl, python, java, javascript, .NET.

      Silverlight is a very 'high level' language - but it only has runtimes for Firefox and Safari on OSX, and (essentially) Windows. There are no mobile implementations (except for possibly Windows Mobile 6.x, couldn't find any info on it.) Flash is much more portable and cross-platform.

      Even javascript isn't all that cross-platform/portable due to the use of different browsers/javascript implementations.

      • There are no mobile implementations (except for possibly Windows Mobile 6.x, couldn't find any info on it.)

        There is an implementation for Symbian (S60) [], but, quite obviously, it's too little too late.

      • Well, mono has been cross-compiled to a number of platforms, and node.js (V8 engine) is available on many OSes as well... not to mention that the language implementation (aside from E4X support) is about the same everywhere (at the core ES3 level), it's the browser DOM that's the mot different. Since the majority of smart phone sales are heading into iPhone & Android territory (both using webkit), even that gets to be a pretty moot point.
    • by hitmark ( 640295 )

      iirc, mozilla is working on a JIT for javascript...

  • Translation (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:35PM (#34068990) Journal

    Translation: "Well, I'd say that Silverlight plan crash and burned. I guess we'll have to back to plan A, and try to kill HTML. What's that I heard from R&D about a <activex> tag?"

    • Naww, I think the translation is "Sure, you can use HTML5 for videos of your cat and basic apps, but if you're a commercial video publisher you'll love our built-in DRM, robust playback controls, dynamic quality change based on bandwidth/congestion, etc and other features. HTML5 isnt a threat because we're more focused on Hulu and Netflix, not your grandma's blog about baking." Adobe has the same attitude along with "oh btw, here's a script that provides fallback to Flash if your browser doesnt support 5 o

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      Alternative translation: "Hey, Silverlight devs, you were great, really, but we've got an early meeting, so go call yourself a cab. We'll totally drop you a tweet or something though, kthnxbyenow."

      And my reaction to anyone who invested in Silverlight could best be summed up as: Heh. Heheheh. Ah hah hah. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhahahahahahahahahah. Suckas.

  • no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wodkamichi ( 1545967 )
    this can't be real - silverlight on multible platforms? does that mean we get the same crap on linux. perhaps even on solaris :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ArhcAngel ( 247594 )

      Moonlight [] works ok.

      • Re:no (Score:4, Funny)

        by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:04PM (#34069274)
        In Linux, I need .NET like I need shotgun blast to the face!
        • Re:no (Score:4, Funny)

          by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:40PM (#34070244) Homepage Journal

          In Linux, I need .NET like I need shotgun blast to the face!

          sudo aptitude install dick-cheney

        • Honestly, I happen to like a lot of the concepts behind the DLR, its really like a more polished JVM. The biggest resistance seems to stem from it being that MS came up with the thing, they came up with XHR, SMB/CIFS as well, which seem to be widely used. The other point is the patent issues, but MS released the Community Promise, which is more than Sun/Oracle have done. Beyond this, they've helped Mono/Moonlight as projects, and released th DLR and other code (ASP.Net MVC) as able to run under Mono.

          • CLR/CLI (Common Language Runtime)... .Net runtime.
          • Nobody -- not even MS -- thinks SMB was a good file-sharing protocol. It became popular only because it was the only option available for MS clients. And even MS ditched it more or less as soon as they figured out that network file systems would be the normal way of doing business rather than some transient storage used to replace sneakernet.

            CIFS is a better choice, though still not ideal. It's acceptable for many user-oriented filesystem mounts, but it has several limitations (some of which can be avoided

      • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:17PM (#34069378)
        Moonlight seems to be a solution in search of a problem. It works great with aspects of silverlight nobody uses. And the only thing lacking in it is the ability to play the drm video of the few siliverlight using sites anyone actually cares about.
      • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:20PM (#34069398)
        The only thing I ever needed Silverlight for was to watch Netflix streaming, and Moonlight didn't help any there. It's like Mono to run .net, or Wine to run Win32; you'll get a little ways with it, just not enough to be very useful. Microsoft simply does not do cross-platform (not even to the point of releasing and then following their own standards so others can make compatible implementations). If they say they are going to, it's a ploy. Sorry to have to repeat slashdot dogma, but it happens to be true in this case.
      • good but they will always be playing catch up.

        Anyway the move from MS is most unsurprising, playing nice and interoperable until enough traction is achieved, then use the marketshare to push a more ruthless domination agenda. And back.

        IE is the perfect example.


      • Moonlight just can't do what the Windows version can unless there was some huge upgrade to it in the last 6 months that I missed. If I am incorrect, than I will be downloading it tonight, but last check, Moonlight is not very robust compared to the Windows version. I am talking SL 1.0 support only (maybe a version that is before 2.0, but I am unsure). SL 3 is awesome, and I have not touched SL 4 yet, but the leap from a media player to something where you can use it like a platform similar to flash.

      • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )

        Moonlight [] works ok.

        Mono is not at feature parity with Silverlight. I don`t even talk about non existing developer and designer environment for Linux/OS X/BSD.

        Even MS admits that Silverlight may not be really cross platform as once envisioned and you Mono/Moonlight/Icaza fans still mention Moonlight.

        For industry (if they took SL serious, silverlight is whatever offered at MS Windows Update, which is version 4 or something now.

  • by by (1706743) ( 1706744 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:37PM (#34069022)
    I want Silverlight for Linux; essentially the only reason I ever boot into Windows is for Netflix's "Watch Instantly" feature.

    Of course, my desire for this despite the DRM probably means I'm going to open-source fundamentalist hell...I mean, I even use the proprietary nVidia drivers...
    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:39PM (#34069042) Journal

      Of course, my desire for this despite the DRM probably means I'm going to open-source fundamentalist hell...I mean, I even use the proprietary nVidia drivers...

      Those that sell Essential Liberty for decent 3D effects deserve neither Liberty or 3D effects!

    • *gasp*

      Unless you let the gospel of RMS into your heart, you will burn in the fires of Hades!

      He who hath heard the Good News and let it fill his soul will have taken their first steps to redemption. Every time you say "GNU/Linux", you take another step upon that path (but, watch out... if you say Linux, without the "GNU", you will fall off the path, into the waiting hands of the Ballmer Devil!)

    • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

      Would it kill performance to use VMWare? I'm going to GNUHell too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      the only reason I ever boot into Windows is for Netflix's "Watch Instantly" feature.

      Of course, my desire for this despite the DRM probably means I'm going to open-source fundamentalist hell..

      If that Hell is a world where the middle-men have even greater control over distribution than they do now, where the first sale doctrine is an anachronism, where cultural history can be rewritten or censored as easily as deleting a file, then yeah, you are merrily skipping down that path.

  • HTML5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:40PM (#34069060)

    HTML5--another in a long line of standards forcefully popularized by Apple that Apple won't get credit for when everyone takes it for granted. See also: 3.5-inch floppies, USB hardware, the "File Edit View Window Help" menu layout, and more...

  • Thanks Apple! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:46PM (#34069130) Homepage

    Yet again, we all benefit from the fact that Steve Jobs is an asshole. His refusal to adopt WMA or license FairPlay killed DRM in the music industry, and now his refusal to allow Flash/Silverlight is pushing Internet standards forward.

    What's next? Video? Can we get a real TVoIP system to kill cable? DRM-free movie/TV purchases?

    • It is called Roku.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bennomatic ( 691188 )

      His refusal to adopt WMA or license FairPlay killed DRM in the music industry

      I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that WMA and FairPlay sucked, nor a little out-of-bottle genie called Napster.

      • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:18AM (#34071186) Homepage

        His refusal to adopt WMA or license FairPlay killed DRM in the music industry

        I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that WMA and FairPlay sucked, nor a little out-of-bottle genie called Napster.

        It definitely had nothing to do with FairPlay sucking. FairPlay does suck a little bit, but all other implementations of DRM suck a lot more. What Apple did was 1) create the #1 best selling portable digital music player of all time, and 2) refuse to allow music purchased from any online store but theirs to play on it. This had the effect of motivating everyone else who wanted to compete with the iTunes Store to convince the record labels to allow THEM (not Apple) to sell DRM-free music, since there was no other way for them to meet customers' demands of something that's compatible with an iPod. Once this happened, it wasn't too much of a stretch for the record labels to allow Apple to sell DRM-free music too (although Apple did have to compromise in the negotiations, and allow the record companies to set different prices for some songs).

        Your out-of-bottle genie is part of the reason the record labels insisted on DRM in the first place.

    • Except he mysteriously waited until the iPod had an almost unassailable grip on the market and then started to attack the DRM. Having used the DRM to lock everybody else out of the ITMS.
      • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

        Apple was a supporter of DRM-free music and music sharing/fair use long before the iTunes store or iPod revolution - remember "Rip, Mix, Burn"? From the very start they never wanted DRM, but if they wanted content to sell, they had to include it.

        So, they made it as weak as possible - they included the ability *in iTunes itself* to strip off the DRM from your tracks, and encouraged you to do so every time you downloaded music. It wasn't ideal (since it required making an Audio CD, so had a transcoding loss i

    • Well, you can build cross-compiled Flash apps, as well as Silverlight (Moonlight actually) applications targeting i-devices.
  • by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:49PM (#34069146) Homepage
    Here's something you don't hear much anymore: de facto standard

    Good riddance, too.
  • by mewsenews ( 251487 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:52PM (#34069180) Homepage

    Thou were intended to be the ActiveX of our age, to witness the glorious rise of the ye Microsoft of old, alas, tis not to be.. alas..

    (fucking rot in hell)

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:55PM (#34069196) Journal

    Perhaps realizing that even longtime Windows user like myself refuse to click the "must install Silverlight" link on the few websites that have it.

    The only place I have this problem is on a few streaming radio sites. In almost all cases, they have another link for the "basic player" which gives me what I wanted: audio from their station without having to install more crap.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      To the exception of Netflix, I can think of no site I've been to which uses silverlight.

      I've got a friend who, despite his worthwhile attributes, really likes Microsoft software (always has). He's mentioned that "does not work with silverlight" is a big game killer for him: apparently there are a number of sites and appliances which require silverlight plugins to use, which are important to his clients and their management. IMO, that's a huge fail.

      Unfortunately, like IE6 is now, it looks like Silverlight wi

      • AFAIK, IPv4 and IPv6 will be able to coexist for a long time. Devices that do not actively support IPv6 will probably fall into disuse or disrepair before it becomes a blocking issue.
      • by cshay ( 79326 )
        If I remember right, the NCAA basketball tournament and the olympics required it for online viewing...
    • by Symbha ( 679466 )

      It's 'for all intents and purposes'.

  • HTML wins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:59PM (#34069228) Homepage

    Nice. For those of you complaining about how HTML doesn't or can't do everything that Flash/Silverlight/Java can do, realize that most of that stuff is not really necessary for basic information display purposes.

    Now I'm waiting to see how Silverlight+WP7 and AdobeAir+Playbook will pan out. If the responsiveness and capabilities can't parallel native, these interpreted OS layers will be at a significant disadvantage. However, Palm did deliver something quite great with WebOS which was based on HTML/CSS/JS, so maybe this is the next step and most natural fit for technologies like Silverlight and Air...

    • Re:HTML wins (Score:4, Insightful)

      by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:21PM (#34070130) Journal

      Silverlight does not go away - it will simply take the place of ActiveX as the platform of choice for "kinda Web but not really" apps in MS-centric shops. A few places like that I know are all either already using Silverlight in that role, or are seriously considering it. On the other hand, I know of few sites on the Net which serve Silverlight content to end users.

      If you look at the feature set changes in recent versions (especially Silverlight 4), it seems that this is also the direction in which it is being pushed. It now has a fairly complete widget library, and not one but two (WCF Data Services client library, and WCF RIA Services) data manipulation frameworks which integrate seamlessly with ORM on the backend, support integrated Windows authentication, etc. Immensely useful for business apps, but not so much so for typical consumer stuff.

  • If only it would work in IE6!
  • Netflix (Score:3, Interesting)

    by guyminuslife ( 1349809 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:46PM (#34069616)

    They use Silverlight. They use it on the Mac. I am assuming that Microsoft is basically shouting at them to drop it and switch to Flash.

    Which really doesn't mean anything for Windows or Mac users, but does mean that Linux users may be able to use Netflix streaming sometime soon.

  • by NullProg ( 70833 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:03PM (#34069728) Homepage Journal

    The 5 primary Desktop computers in my home run Linux. I purchase services (annual subscriptions in Microsoft speak) from the NFL/MLB/HBO and several others. They all work with Linux. They all work with my Windows Netbook, Wii, MacBook, and Linux Laptop. The producers know the product they produce is viewable with Linux and several other OS's. They get my subscription fees while Microsoft doesn't. Check it out, I'm not tied to any platform.

            Cross platform does not mean Windows XP/Vista/CE/7 only. Cloud services does not mean Windows XP with IE 99 or Windows 7 with IE 8.5. Cross platform and cloud services mean Droid, Windows, Linux, Mac, Blackberry, iPhone, HP, Wii, PS3 or any other platform that is standards compliant.

    Come out with a .Net runtime with Silverlight that runs native on Multiple non-Microsoft platforms. And no, Mono sucks and is full of traps.

    My rant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimicus ( 737525 )

      Thing is, I believe that some quarters (particularly those who deal with desktop software) within Microsoft honestly think that "cross platform" means "works with more than one version of Windows". Were you to walk into one of their meetings and suggest supporting a non-Windows based platform, you'd get everything from funny looks to comments along the lines of "But nobody's used DOS for years!". As far as they're concerned, you might just as well propose video streaming to a paper pad, it'd be equally ab

  • by eulernet ( 1132389 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:26PM (#34069858)

    Hey, it works on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, so it's cross-platform.

    Once again, Slashdot promotes an article bashing Microsoft.

    This is so unfair !

  • ... of Microsoft's XML based / GUI / animation-friendly / .NET based vector interface technology. The beast underlying Silverlight will continue to find its widest audience in WPF on the desktop, and possibly a decent sized user base in Windows Phone 7 -- if MS can get traction on the latter. Displacing Flash on the web has always been a pipe dream, and based on the dictates of iOS not even a pipe dream worth so very much effort anymore.
  • The strategy shifted? Did it shift red or blue?
  • here we go again (Score:3, Informative)

    by kikito ( 971480 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @09:02AM (#34072306) Homepage

    I'm talking to you, developers that spend time, energy and money on learning and using microsoft technologies.

    Even if it fills the plate today, for your own shake, invest some time on alternatives to ms-only. Otherwise you can see that knowledge go to waste.

    Learn from history.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.