Microsoft’s Silverlight software program is an instance of bold browser-focused improvement — and a warning signal of simply what can go unsuitable. When you encounter Silverlight lately, you could be questioning simply what it’s or when you want it for a specific undertaking.
To assist out, we’re going over what Silverlight is, what it does, and the historical past that led to its present state. Silverlight might now not be an choice in your or your net improvement, nevertheless it’s necessary to know why.
What’s Silverlight, precisely?
Silverlight is an utility framework created by Microsoft and designed for operating wealthy media on the web. Consider it like a substitute for Adobe Flash —that’s actually how Microsoft developed and marketed the software program when it was first launched within the late 2000s.
Like Flash, Silverlight was supposed to be an all-purpose plugin for operating movies, livestreams, animated, and wealthy graphics on-line. Nonetheless, it did so with heavy reliance on Microsoft instruments within the backend. Utilizing the XAML coding format and Microsoft’s .NET Framework for improvement, Silverlight provided assist for Home windows Media Video (WMV) and Audio (WMA), H.264 video, Superior Audio Coding, and extra.
Mainly, it gave individuals a approach to allow wealthy animations on-line utilizing Home windows instruments greater than Flash instruments, and a product of Microsoft’s bold push into new areas throughout within the 2000s.
Wait, so is Silverlight nonetheless obtainable?
Oh, certain. You possibly can nonetheless obtain Silverlight 5 in order for you. However you wouldn’t get a lot out of the expertise, contemplating its present state. Help from Web Explorer resulted in 2016, and assist from Microsoft’s newer Edge browser by no means existed. Chrome stopped supporting Silverlight again in 2015, and Firefox ended its assist in 2017. Outdoors of a purely technical train, there’s actually not a lot cause to take a look at Silverlight in any respect.
Silverlight hasn’t been value utilizing in years. The truth is, again in 2015, Microsoft suggested everybody to cease utilizing Silverlight solely, indicating that assist for the software program would finally stop. Energetic assist and updates for the software program stopped all the way in which again in 2012, though bug fixes nonetheless proceed periodically.
When you want an utility framework for net improvement, we propose you utilize HTML5, which comes with a specific amount of future proofing and might take care of trendy web content material.
How for much longer is Silverlight going to be supported?
The ultimate model of Silverlight shall be supported by Microsoft till late 2021, after which will probably be completely shut down. After all, at this level that deadline is little greater than a coup de gras. By 2018, lower than zero.1% of all web sites used Silverlight. As we talked about beforehand, not one of the main browsers, together with Edge, assist it any extra. Microsoft has been encouraging individuals to cease utilizing Silverlight for a number of years now.
Nonetheless, when you nonetheless wish to check out Silverlight — perhaps you’re writing a research on failed browser software program — it would nonetheless be obtainable for obtain for a pair extra years. Nonetheless, we propose downloading in a protected setting with out delicate knowledge, as OS assist for Silverlight is hit and miss lately.
What led to the demise of Silverlight?
A mix of things, however basically, the software program world moved too quick for Silverlight to catch up.
When Silverlight was first launched in 2007, it seemed like successful. Microsoft was capable of deliver some main companions onboard, and the 2008 protection of the Beijing Olympics was streamed on-line utilizing Silverlight (through NBC) — as have been the 2008 political conventions, after which the 2010 Winter Olympics. Even Amazon and Netflix have been utilizing Silverlight to streaming their video content material.
But when Microsoft had successful on its arms, it was a short-lived one. Issues shortly started to floor with Silverlight. Bugs existed for varied functions, however bugs have been just one aspect of the issue. One of many worst points, as recounted by Scott Barnes, was Microsoft’s incapacity to know what the market required. Builders discovered the instruments, particularly the susceptible .NET Framework, troublesome to study and too dangerous to depend upon. Moreover, Microsoft started pushing Silverlight 2 and Silverlight three lengthy earlier than anybody — together with its personal administration groups — was prepared for it.