Microsoft's long awaited release of Silverlight 5 happened on Friday. Silverlight 5.0 ships with a ton of new features, including new media and graphic improvements as well as extending the trust model to the browser (a big deal for some Line of Business applications). This release happened without any fanfare but that hardly diminishes its value. Some of the great things in the release are listed here.
While Microsoft did not announce that there was going to be a Silverlight 6, they did announce they would extend support for Silverlight 5 for ten years until 10 Dec 2021, as long as you are using a supported browser. It’s a small catch as you don’t have a guarantee that the SL plugin will run in newer versions next year. That said, in a locked-down corporate environment it’s not that much of an issue.
What does this mean for a .NET developer today, not in 2021? What it means is that Silverlight is still the best option for .NET developers interested in building rich, interactive browser-based LOB and data visualization applications designed specifically for Windows users. Silverlight combines the richness of a Windows desktop experience with the reach of a web application (e.g. all Windows XP, Vista, 7, Mac OS X, etc.). The addition of LOB-centric tooling for Silverlight in Visual Studio means that not only can you build desktop-like experiences in the browser, you can do it quickly and easily with the tools you already have. If you have control over the deployment environment, it’s definitely the easiest path to really rich applications today.
What does this mean for Telerik customers? As I have stated before, our Silverlight strategy has not shifted. Our mission at Telerik is to make developers more productive and we will continue to support Silverlight for as long as you, our customers, continue to use it. In addition, as you start to use new technology like HTML5 or WinRT, we will be there for you as well.
As always, we are hard at work getting ready to release our SL 5 support for you. As Michael said on his blog, we'll have our Silverlight 5 support for you just in time for Christmas. You will see how committed we are to Silverlight and WPF when we announce the roadmap for the first release in 2012.
Still confused over what technology to use for your next project? Stay tuned to this spot to find out some more information and guidance on that soon.