Silverlight vs IE 9 (HTML 5)

In time to come, it will be interesting to see how the Silverlight platform stands against IE 9 . The reason for coming out with Silverlight was the need to create a platform which enabled creation of RIA (and also to compete with Flash). But many of the features which Silverlight currently has are slowly becoming available as part of  HTML5 implementation by most common browsers.

IE9 has included many HTML5 goodies along with a very optimsed javascript engine. Things which were out of reach of ordinary javascript are possible today with HTML5 and optimised javascript. Also, there other HTML5 features like ‘WebSockets’ and ‘WebGL’ that will make it to mainstream very soon. Considering this, almost everything you can do today with Silverlight is going to be possible with HTML5 and IE9.

Another big advantage of using HTML5 is that you dont need to install a plugin. With dual core mobile phones round the corner, very soon many mobile browsers will start supporting HTML5 to a great extent. Already there are many spectacular HTML5 applications getting created.

I can foresee the dilemma which companies selling  UI controls for Silverlight are going to have. They will also have to create a version controls for HTML5 as well. So you have same company selling two versions of same control, one for HTML5 and another for Silverlight !

Going ahead, I think there  needs to be some change in Silverlight strategy from MS. I would like to see Silverlight platform to cover some aspects of HTML5 also, for example:

  • Introduce WPF kind of binding in HTML5.
  • Support WebSocket (maybe even have library to create server applications).
  • Offer WPF like controls for HTML5.
  • Translate C#  code in some sort of  optimised javascript for IE9+.

It is really going to be interesting to see what next versions of Silverlight are going to have and how Silverlight will try to retain a special identity of its own.




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