With HTML5 and other web technologies becoming the standard for video, is the time for Silverlight’s streaming capabilities and tools coming to a pass?

Microsoft has now taken down its Silverlight.net website, instead directing traffic directly to an MSDN page. This means that many of the resources found on Silverlight.net are now broken completely or at least missing in action.

For those that don’t know, the Silverlight webpage was previously a portal for developers looking to work with the web-based video streaming tools. It proved resources, training information and more.

So the big question is what this move means. Microsoft says that they are working to add back many of the missing pages into MSDN, but why move it?

The believed reason is simply that it isn’t a core focus for Microsoft anymore. Will there be continued development past Silverlight 5? It’s hard to say for sure but Microsoft has at least stated this:

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.

This might seem to answer the question, but it doesn’t. Just because Silverlight will technically be supported until 2021, doesn’t mean they are going to develop future versions like Silverlight 6. It basically just means they won’t completely abandon support for sites and company’s that want to cling on to the standard.

Is this news surprising? Honestly, I don’t think so. The Internet and technology are changing quickly, and Silverlight probably isn’t as important to Microsoft’s goals as it was in years past.

Right now Silverlight technology is used in video services like Netflix, and in the upcoming Redbox Instant Service so it will be interesting to see how it affects these offerings down the road if Microsoft does decide to end with Silverlight 5.

What do you think? Does the moving of the website signify the end of Silverlight, or are they just merely consolidating the efforts under MSDN and the press is turning this into something it isn’t? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Alphere

    I really liked silverlight and it’s ease on developing LOB applications. Unless they develop a better tooling for HTML5, I will still prefer Silverlight.