Microsoft hasn't denied rumours that they are about to pull the plug on Silverlight, its development platform for rich Web design. Often compared to Flash, Silverlight could be about to get the same treatment as Adobe's platform and get dumped in favour of leaner, quicker, more energy-efficient HTML5.
Adobe recently ditched further development on Flash as a mobile platform, finally acknowledging that the service is too energy hungry and slow on mobile platforms.
Though Silverlight went mobile this year, with a version developed for Windows Phone, it's possible that Microsoft will be tempted to nix their fancy dev platform for the same reasons that Adobe dropped theirs.
Silverlight 5 will be released to developers this month, but after that the future of the platform looks dark.
With redundancies on the Silverlight team, and rumours that the next version of Silverlight will not be supported on browsers other than Internet Explorer the signs don't look good for Silverlight or indeed Silverlight developers.
Occasional Reg contributor Mary Jo Foley says that the writing is on the wall:
One of my contacts said he believed that the final version of Silverlight 5 may only work with Internet Explorer on Windows and won’t work on Mac OS platforms or with other browsers at all.
XAML the Microsoft-created markup language used to underlie Silverlight looks more likely to remain.
Silverlight developers were keen for answers, @kistnerconsult posted on Twitter:
Being an architect, custom dev consultant who specializes in XAML/Silverlight/WPF LOB app dev, would be nice to have msoft be more specific
We asked Microsoft for an official comment on the future of Silverlight, but a spokesperson said the company was not issuing any statement at this time. ®
The spokesman eventually sent us this statement: "The Silverlight 5 RTW remains on schedule. We have nothing to say regarding future releases at this time."