It seems that news of the demise of Silverlight was all a mistake. After telling developers that Silverlight was the way forward so insistently and with such urgency Microsoft simply cannot be the first to jump ship.
Bob Muglia President of the Server Tools Division at Microsoft has gone on record to undo some of the damage his earlier remarks - see yesterday's news item Silverlight is dead, long live Silverlight?
He now states:
- Silverlight is very important and strategic to Microsoft.
- 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.
- Silverlight is a core application development platform for Windows, and it’s the development platform for Windows Phone.
This may all be true but the earlier comments didn't come from nowhere and what he isn't now saying speaks volumes. The big problem is that there really isn't any easy or positive way to put the genie back in the bottle.
Muglia's comment at last week's Professinal Developers Converence:
Our Silverlight strategy and focus going forward has shifted
is almost impossible to interpret in any other way than Silverlight isn't our number one concern. If Microsoft's strategy was that the Silverlight was its number one flagship system, over and above even WPF, say, and desktop .NET then a shift in strategy can only mean downgrading.
Finally the fact that the comments were made reveals a mindset and the fact that now the comments need reinterpreting reveals a confusion. Can you imagine a Microsoft president having to clarify a statement if the internal policy line was clear. This is simply reacting to the reaction rather than a policy and gives the impression that Microsoft has some internal divisions.
It's not so much that its been retracted - it's the very fact it was said and now needs to be fixed that indicates all is not well.
Whatever the situation really is the fear and doubt has been spread and the only thing that could possibly repair it is a clear statement that Silverlight is not only Microsoft's way forward on the Windows Phone 7 plaftform, but also its top priority for the web.
And what about Silverlight Linux support? Cross-platform should mean something more than just Windows and the Mac.
After telling developers that Silverlight was the way forward so insitently and with such urgency Microsoft simply cannot be the first to jump ship.
Silverlight is dead, long live Silverlight?
Windows and .NET - the coming storm
WPF & Silverlight at risk from Microsoft's passion for HTML5
Silverlight better than HTML5?