Friday, February 6, 2009

Why Silverlight is the Future

Rockford Lhotka wrote a good post post yesterday Why Silverlight is the Future.

I'm a Silverlight fan and agree with him. The sheer volume of .NET developers alone make Silverlight a highly likely candidate for success.

One thing that he didn't mention and that I think will push Silverlight to mass acceptance is that it will, at some point in the future, be hostable on mobile devices. Silverlight is just a control (or collection of controls) on a web page. The browser, and the Silverilght runtime/VM host the control. So mobile devices only need a host for Silverlight and then Silverlight will become ubiquitous.

Will Moonlight 2.0 be that host for most mobile devices?

Neil McAllister wrote yesterday The case for supporting and using Mono in which he says:

There's no need to code in C++ for Windows and Objective-C for the Mac -- the same project can be built for either platform from the same C# and JavaScript sources.

And that's the crux of it.


  1. Silverlight For Mobile was already demo'ed at the PDC 2008 in October. So, that is coming part of the Silverlight 3 Beta 1 in a couple months :) nothing to do with Moonlight.
    With Azure SDK you can also make a desktop Silverlight application. Silverlight is coming to the desktop too :)
    The best part of Silverlight on the web/desktop/mobile is that you write your code ONCE and maybe wrapper it around Azure deployment or create different views for the mobile front-end and you get your application consumed everywhere.

  2. Thanks for the info and insight Bart. I agree - write ONCE, run everywhere. Although that's been promised to us a million times it finally looks like a reality.

  3. I'd have to disagree with you there. As far as mobile platforms are concerned, javascript is where it's at. WIth the popularity of the iPhone (good or bad), Apple currently won't allow flash or silverlight. Macs are gaining market share everyday, and as far as I know, the silverlight experience isn't great. I'd actually have to agree with something Jeff Atwood said on a stackoverflow podcast a while ago: javascript is the future of browser UI interaction. It's build it, has the security needed, it comes with all modern browsers, and with easy to use libraries like jQuery, it's just a no brainer to use what's already there. On a past episode on Haselminutes, Scott interviewed a javascript developer and they were talking about JITing javascript code. Compiled javascript would be awesome, and it'll be here sooner than you think...silverlight is nice, but I personally don't think that a plugin solution (Flash, sliverlight, etc) is what will win in the end...

  4. I don't think that it's a matter of Apple "allowing" flash or silverlight I think that it will force its way in. Remember that Apple is Linux and once Moonlight 2 is available you'll have native .NET running in a browser on a Linux operating system.