If there's one constant in the world of Visual Studio development, it's change. Look no further than this month's cover feature by VSM Executive Editor Kathleen Richards, which covers the evolving strategic direction of Silverlight in a post- HTML4 world.
Silverlight, of course, has always been about what's next. From its early run as a media playback vehicle to the rapid-fire releases that advanced it into a capable target for cross-platform business application development, Silverlight has never stood still. Now it seems the emergence of HTML5 as a media-savvy target for cross-platform Web development has prompted Silverlight to go on the move once again.
Microsoft isn't shy about changing up products and technologies in mid-flight. Just look at the development of SharePoint over the years, or the cart-before-horse evolution of Silverlight versus Windows Presentation Foundation -- or even the changing relationship between Visual Basic and C#. In the case of Silverlight, Microsoft has presumably spent millions of dollars building and promoting a platform for cross-platform development and delivery of .NET code. Where does that strategy go now, and what becomes of developers' investments in the technology?
Those are important questions, but I'd be shocked if dev shops find their investments in Silverlight wasted. Silverlight remains a technology of strategic importance to Microsoft. It's the engine for Windows Phone 7 development and will continue to serve the spectrum of Windows platforms, as well as the Mac OS.
What's your take on Microsoft's handling of Silverlight and the decision to aggressively support HTML5 in Internet Explorer 9? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.