Last week Bob Muglia, president of the Server and Tools Division (STB) at Microsoft, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that’s Microsoft’s Silverlight strategy had “shifted.” Muglia described Silverlight as the development platform for Windows Phone 7 but indicated that Microsoft will be increasingly emphasizing HTML5. Microsoft’s Joshua Allen claimed last year that Silverlight and HTML5 weren’t in competition with each other, so this seems like quite an about-face for the company. What does this mean for Silverlight developers? Will you continue to learn and develop in Silverlight, or will you jump ship?
Update: Muglia issued a clarification on the Silverlight blog one minute after this post went live.
If you have a vested interest in Silverlight, you have to wait 5 months until MIX 2011 (Microsoft’s web conference) to find out what is going to happen next. For someone who has invested in this technology, I find it insulting. The problem is that you don’t know anything clear. This is very akin to Wall Street…”the market hates not knowing”; they want to know where to invest based on the news. If you don’t know where Silverlight is going; how seriously are you going to champion or invest in the technology?
Czernicki reminds us that the HTML5 spec isn’t even finished yet and that production versions of Internet Explorer don’t even support HTML5 yet.
Adobe, similarly, seems to be deprioritizing Flash. RedMonk’s James Governor notes that Flash wasn’t mentioned until 47 minutes into the MAX keynote. Adobe, however, was more clear about its Flash strategy, and released a handy Flash-to-HTML5 converter.
So how about Silverlight developers: Are you going to continue investing resources and time into Silverlight, or are you going to do some strategy shifting yourselves?