Microsoft shuts down Silverlight.net; won't talk about future updates

It's looking very much like Microsoft is slowly pulling out from the Silverlight development business. Microsoft, which released Silverlight 5 a year ago, has now taken down Silverlight.net, which has served as a resource for developers who wanted to work with the web-based video streaming tools.

ZDNet.com notes that the Silverlight.net URL now directs people to a page on Microsoft's MSDN site. However, that move has caused a number of links that offer information and discussions surrounding Silverlight to become broken.

In a statement, Microsoft admitted that it had moved Silverlight.net to MSDN in late October. It also noted the broken URL links, adding, "We apologize for any inconvenience and we’re working to resolve these issues for our customers."

The big question is, will Microsoft continue development of Silverlight past version 5? Microsoft has yet to comment on the future of the tools. ZDNet.com reports that Microsoft has only said:

The consolidation of this content does not impact Microsoft’s Silverlight offering. We released Silverlight 5 in December 2011 and we’ve committed to supporting Silverlight into the year 2021.

Of course, "support" is not the same thing as "future additions and improvements". At the moment, we would not place any bets on Microsoft releasing Silverlight 6.

Source: ZDNet.com | Image via Microsoft

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This is typical Microsoft in everything they do. They ALWAYS give up and if its a piece of hardware, its the customer that gets screwed. Microsoft has stolen lots of money from me over the years through abandoned hardware.

Your a fool if you buy one of Microsofts recent tablets.

Why all the hate against SL? It's a great platform to write for, performs better than Flash (Flash is still a buggy POS ridden with malware). The last Olympics which streamed in SL were much better than this years streaming.

HTML5 is a poor joke compared to the rich dev environment for SL. We have Sinofsky to thank for throwing out 2 of Microsoft's most promising technologies.

I am glad that I didn't learn these 2 (WPF + Silverlight) technologies. Saved me awful amount of time and effort from going to waste!

The Author and others seem to keep conflating Silverlight with Video Streaming technologies.

Silverlight was a 'rich client plugin' that supported more advanced Video codecs and technologies like adaptive streaming (Smooth Stream) and content protection.

These are things that HTML5 in theory can also offer NOW, if the standards body will let Microsoft or anyone else add these features to HTMl5, as Microsoft has demonstrated their javascript based variations.

Silverlight itself was NOT a Video streaming technology, just a way to play the video streaming content.

The actual video streaming technologies from Microsoft like Smooth Stream and content protection come from the Windows Media/Zune technologies. Smooth Stream and content protection as implemented by Silverlight clients and the Xbox are all derived from PlaysforSure v2.0 technologies, which is also known to many people as Zune video/audio.

I hope to hear, "Adobe decide drop the Flash".
I really hate the Adobe Flash, that's origin of almost web browser crash problem.

RIA platforms are very worst piece of the Web history.

The Xbox 360 uses a derivative of Silverlight 3 - a version of Silverlight not many people have cared about for years.

Edited by ~Johnny, Dec 7 2012, 7:33pm :

WooHoo!!! said,
Xbox 360 is heavy with Silverlight. Still have to support that.

So is WP7, WP8, and in a general sense WinRT, WPF/.NET as they are all based off the base XAML technologies. Silverlight was a light plugin, with a limited set of WPF, which is why it was the 'model' used for WP7 as it needed to be light, fast, and for security could not have all the WPF functionality.

So in reality, beyond the plugin going away for browsers, this is more about semantics, as developers can move on to the richer API sets like WPF and WinRT.

I just wish they released one last version which is compatible with IE10's Enhanced Protected Mode. Silverlight was a very rich runtime.

MsftGaurav said,
I just wish they released one last version which is compatible with IE10's Enhanced Protected Mode. Silverlight was a very rich runtime.

They wanted to push HTML5 to replace Silverlight, and even though some of the HTML5 standards are lacking, it has the potential to replace Silverlight functionality fully. Especially with the work Microsoft has provided to the standard.

This is where Microsoft's heavy hand (that a lot came from Sinofsky) to push developers forward killed the offerings that Microsoft could have made available.

The irony, IE10's internal XAML/XPS/Direct... technologies process and run natively content isn't far from Silverlight's runtime, and could have been incorporated without much work.

thenetavenger said,

...

From the link here http://www.riagenic.com/archives/960

"Having Internet Explorer start taking over the HTML5 discussion would also help us win hearts and minds with the non-.NET crowd which would then help boost our internal metrics around Linux, Php, Apache and MySQL/Oracle compete (that has often plagued us for many a fiscal year).

Once we've placed Internet Explorer onto many devices worldwide we will then ask developers to fork their beloved HTML5 in a way that lets them access Windows 8 further. This in turn will help us regain the lost dominance we once had before all of our Internet Explorer staff left the company to work for Google Chrome. Additionally, it will help us with our many year attempts at attracting more developers to our Windows Server & Tooling business units."

So once again, Microsoft show us they have hidden agendas and wouldn't hesitate to kill their own to gain some new ground. And here you are, preaching to us that the 'work' they provided to the standard was in good faith.

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
The only thing I was aware of using it was MLB.TV, and that was for one year, before they returned to Flash.

Netflix...

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
The only thing I was aware of using it was MLB.TV, and that was for one year, before they returned to Flash.

NBC used it a lot for the Olympics and stuff, but at the time it had better video quality and streaming ability was nicer with dynamic bit rate and all that other stuff

ok so it is dead. But here is the problem: this is the second platform MSFT kills in a relatively short amount of time. Why should any devs be looking at WinRT when all the promises they made about SL are being made again about WinRT?

neonspark said,
ok so it is dead. But here is the problem: this is the second platform MSFT kills in a relatively short amount of time. Why should any devs be looking at WinRT when all the promises they made about SL are being made again about WinRT?

The writing has been on the wall for SL for a while but you are right, what about all the time and money spent learning SL? That is basically all wasted now. If the whole "Modern UI" thing doesn't work out great for MS will they ditch it in Windows 9? Is spending a lot of time and money learning WinRT worth it in the long run? MS are investing a lot in C++11 and I have a feeling C# might suffer from Microsofts attention now being back on native code.

ditoa said,

The writing has been on the wall for SL for a while but you are right, what about all the time and money spent learning SL? That is basically all wasted now. If the whole "Modern UI" thing doesn't work out great for MS will they ditch it in Windows 9? Is spending a lot of time and money learning WinRT worth it in the long run? MS are investing a lot in C++11 and I have a feeling C# might suffer from Microsofts attention now being back on native code.

Hardly wasted time. legacy code can still run, Silverlight devs will feel at home with XAML and WinRT for the most part anyway.

Also, I appreciate the fact MS is focusing on standard languages.. yes, I know C# is standardized too, but for portability sake and platform viability, having a premium C++ language with all the latest bells and whistles is important if you don't want the rest of the world passing you buy. Managed languages have their place and I still write and enjoy c# myself..

neonspark said,
ok so it is dead. But here is the problem: this is the second platform MSFT kills in a relatively short amount of time. Why should any devs be looking at WinRT when all the promises they made about SL are being made again about WinRT?

WinRT essentially embraces what was called Silvertlight and WPF

neonspark said,
ok so it is dead. But here is the problem: this is the second platform MSFT kills in a relatively short amount of time. Why should any devs be looking at WinRT when all the promises they made about SL are being made again about WinRT?

As has been said, the XAML / C# side of WinRT is essentially the next version of Silverlight. Silverlight developers will feel right at home.

neonspark said,
ok so it is dead. But here is the problem: this is the second platform MSFT kills in a relatively short amount of time. Why should any devs be looking at WinRT when all the promises they made about SL are being made again about WinRT?

The plugin technology is dying, but the platform still lives on in WP, WinRT, and even the way Microsoft implements HTML5.

Silverlight was a plugin technology to be a lite version of .NET WPF, which still exists in addition to WinRT's implementation of XAML.

spudtrooper said,

Hardly wasted time. legacy code can still run, Silverlight devs will feel at home with XAML and WinRT for the most part anyway.

Actually Silverlight developers would be coming from XAML, as it existed before Silverlight and is a core technology of Vista/7/8 implemented in WPF/.NET and WinRT.

So they should more than feel at home, they SHOULD already be familiar with the original core platform that Silverlight was splintered off to create a browser plug in.

neonspark said,

SL was the victim of the fact the world has changed. flash and other plugin based platforms just don't stand a chance.

Because the current alternative is _______ ? (tips: html5 is not a real alternative).

wixostrix said,

I like their Silverlight live streams. What's wrong with them?

It means we have to install Silverlight again, also if it uses Silverlight no hope of mobile device support

wixostrix said,

I like their Silverlight live streams. What's wrong with them?

nothing, but if you have a surface RT (curiously an MS product) then guess what, SL doesn't run....

wixostrix said,

I like their Silverlight live streams. What's wrong with them?

as already said, no silveright on mobile platforms and limited Silverlight on non pc.. smooth streaming is nice and all, but don't need sl player for that anymore. pretty annoying I can't watch Microsoft events on my surface

thealexweb said,
Does this mean Microsoft will stop using Silverlight for their live streams?

I don't know why people hate it so much.
Whenever I use flash to stream stuff, it always slows down and i get tons of freezes.
Not once when I was using silverlight that happened. It was always smooth and never slowed any of my other programs down.

spudtrooper said,

as already said, no silveright on mobile platforms and limited Silverlight on non pc.. smooth streaming is nice and all, but don't need sl player for that anymore. pretty annoying I can't watch Microsoft events on my surface

I never understood the big deal about smooth streaming.

Youtube has been smooth for ages to me and Youtube is using flash right ? 1080p Blood and chrome streaming was smooth as hell on Youtube for me. Same for HD movie previews. My PC doesn't even sweat playing those.

aviator189 said,

I don't know why people hate it so much.
Whenever I use flash to stream stuff, it always slows down and i get tons of freezes.
Not once when I was using silverlight that happened. It was always smooth and never slowed any of my other programs down.

thats the problem with silverlight. preferred netflix in flash. ever since that switch. poor quality video. and I did it originally when it was in beta.

torrentthief said,
Once HTML5 gets drm silverlight will pretty much be dead in the water.

once HTML5 finalizes a spec, cars will fly.

Abhinav Kumar said,

It won't ever be. It's a rolling standard.

rolling standard <=> choose which version you support...

For starts, IMO, I kind of hate Silverlight on Netflix and the many others such as in-desktop apps like Optimum TV that uses Silverlight. They're not so optimized to me.

Mr.XXIV said,
For starts, IMO, I kind of hate Silverlight on Netflix and the many others such as in-desktop apps like Optimum TV that uses Silverlight. They're not so optimized to me.
Netflix sooner or later, obviously will revert to flash.

PatrynXX said,

Unless you use netflix stream. as I don't, no point. but others do..

netflix is not available in my country.