Lately standards-based multimedia features offered by HTML5 have taken the spotlight from proprietary technologies, such as Silverlight and Adobe’s Flash. Still Silverlight has a purpose in the wake of HTML5’s emergence. Moreover, so far Silverlight capabilities has exceeded those of HTML5, according to Microsoft.
To put it simply, on the Web the purpose of Silverlight has never been to replace HTML; it’s to do the things that HTML (and other technologies) couldn’t in a way that was easy for developers to tap into. According to Becker Silverlight offers advantages in such areas as high-definition video, content protection, 3-D video, and smooth streaming.
At Microsoft they believe HTML5 will become ubiquitous just like HTML 4.01 is today. Microsoft has committed to backing HTML5 in its upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser and has partially leveraged it in Internet Explorer 8 as well.
But still the company is working on donating test suites to help improve consistency between implementations of HTML5 and CSS3. Here the thing is that these technologies have had issues with variations between browsers.
“HTML5 and CSS 3 are going to make this worse for a while as the specs are new and increase the surface area of features that may be implemented differently. In contrast, since we develop all implementations of Silverlight, we can ensure that it renders the same everywhere,” – they say at Microsoft.
As for the moment Microsoft has shipped four major versions of Silverlight in about half the time that HTML5 has been under design. Silverlight has become more than a browser technology, with Microsoft investing in desktop, mobile and living room capabilities for the technology.
For HTML5 to be really targetable, the spec has to stabilize, browsers have to all implement the specs in the same way and over a billion people have to install a new browser or buy a new device or machine. That’s going to take a while. And by the time HTML5 is broadly targetable, Silverlight will have evolved significantly. Meanwhile, Silverlight is here now and works in all popular browsers and operating systems.
So, what do you think of these technologies? Which is more perspective in nearest future and which are you going to stick to then?
Eager to hear your professional point of view. Thank you in advance.