Silverlight Support Roadmap
Written by Mike James   
Monday, 20 January 2014

Silverlight is still the subject of FUD, which Microsoft is now, at last, attempting to clear up. 

A recent Microsoft WebApps blog post starts with:

"We receive a lot of questions about Silverlight support roadmap. The purpose of this post is to consolidate a few relevant links to answer most of your questions."

Yes, this seems reasonable. There are still .NET programmers who refuse to accept the fact that Silverlight is a lame duck platform and even some who are still waiting for Silverlight 6, 7 or whatever.

There are even parts of Microsoft still using Silverlight for new web pages, as if this was a good thing to do, and getting the viewer to download Silverlight, as if this wasn't a waste of their bandwidth.



In general Microsoft kills things very slowly and posts the information about the status of the victim in a scattered way hoping to head off any criticism. The lifecycle data for Sliverlight reveals that Silverlight 5 is officially dead on October 12 2021 - or at least that's when mainstream support ends.

Mainstream support for all other versions has already ended. You also have to be a little careful in noting what exactly is supported until this far off date. The main browsers supported are Firefox 12+ and Chrome 12+ and IE 11 through 7 on particular operating systems. For example, under Windows 8.1 only IE 11 in addition to Firefox and Chrome is supported. 

The good news is: 

"Microsoft continues to release updates to Silverlight 5 to address security and compatibility issues. "

So no Silverlight 6 or additional features. 

You could argue that seven years more support is enough to stick with Silverlight - but security patches and compatibility issues aren't really enough are they?

Of course, if you have been keeping up with things none of this will come as a huge shock. But if you visit the Microsoft Silverlight web page you will be confronted with what looks like technology with a future. You are told to "Get Silverlight" and its virtues are extolled so that you are motivated to install the developer tools.

If you look for  a message that says clearly that development work on Silverlight has stopped you won't find one (or at least I can't). However, if you take the advice on the "About" page and visit the Silverlight blog you might notice that there hasn't been a post for two years...




This is a dishonest representation of the situation that could be corrected with a small note advising developers to find something else to use for new projects and perhaps it being wise to start thinking of moving existing projects to current technology. 

The blog post closes with a much more appropriate mesage:

"As a software developer, you can build portable class libraries that simultaneously target various .NET runtimes, including Silverlight, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox"

Perhaps even this isn't enough?



More Information

Silverlight Support Roadmap

Silverlight Support Dates


Related Articles

Windows Phone 8 - Silverlight Apps Are Legacy

Silverlight is dead, long live Silverlight?

Silverlight 5 - the end of the line

How Microsoft Could Have Done Metro

Dumping .NET - Microsoft's Madness

Why your next language better be C++

Was .NET all a mistake?

Windows and .NET - the coming storm

WPF & Silverlight at risk from Microsoft's passion for HTML5


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