Enterprise developers: Don't stop believing in Microsoft Silverlight

Bob Muglia's poor PR prompts post-PDC pledge.

Bob Muglia (Microsoft PR)
     Bob Muglia

It was Microsoft's Professional Developer's Conference last week. What conclusions should enterprise developers draw? What about the future of Silverlight vs. HTML5? Let's dig deeper, in The Long View...

Bob Muglia, Microsoft's Server and Tool Business chief, confused almost everybody, with his quotes on Mary Jo Foley's blog. He seemed to be de-emphasizing Silverlight as a development platform. This and the paucity of Silverlight-related conference content caused some inescapable conclusions.

Muglia seemed to marginalize Silverlight, saying, "our strategy has shifted," and he seemed to talk up the capabilities of HTML5. But that doesn't mean developers should shun Silverlight. Nor does it mean their investments in learning the platform has been wasted.

What Muglia was trying to say -- clumsily -- was that broad cross-platform support was a key original objective of Silverlight, but things don't always work out the way they're planned.

Silverlight was originally known as Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere (WPF/E). The "Everywhere" is key to fully understanding the Silverlight strategy -- the vision was of a modern, secure, .NET/XAML based runtime, that worked across a wide range of computing platforms. Everywhere -- not just Windows.

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