Microsoft retiring Silverlight for WP7 app development? [Update]

There's been a lot of debate about the future of Microsoft's Silverlight programming language. Silverlight was first developed as a kind of alternative to Adobe's Flash for presenting web video and content but has also been used to make apps for Windows Phone.

While Microsoft released Silverlight 5 back in December, the company has been quiet about any plans to develop and release future versions. Now a new blog post strongly suggests that Silverlight's days are indeed numbered. The latest update on the official Windows Phone developer blog has Microsoft's responding to Windows Phone app creators with their concerns about what the future might be for making apps via Silverlight. Lieberman states:

Please don’t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well.

This statement seems to indicate that Silverlight development support is on its way out, to be replaced with XAML and C#/VB.NET development. We have emailed Microsoft for comment.

In the same blog post, Lieberman re-confirms that all apps made for the current version of Windows Phone will be able to be run on the next major update to the OS. He states:

Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments.

Update: Microsoft has sent this response to our inquiry: "We have not made any announcements about future versions of Silverlight and have nothing new to share at this time."

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