SOFTWARE SPINNER Microsoft has put out a statement that tried to justify the existence of Silverlight, but ended up saying that HTML5 is better.
The desktop PC software firm said that Silverlight is great for "plug-in based experiences" and for Windows Phone 7, where it said it can deliver "rich capabilities", but highlighted the Windows only video format's limited uses and called Silverlight's rival HTML5 as "a solution for many scenarios".
Microsoft said it is committed to investing in HTML5, which gets heavy emphasis in Internet Explorer 9, but wanted to answer questions brought to it by the community about how Silverlight fits into the grander scheme of things.
The company launched Silverlight in 2007 as its belated play to monopolise online video delivery and an answer to Adobe's Flash, an application that is widely used all across the web and likely to suffer with the growth of HTML5, which many web developers support as having more features, faster loading times and improved security.
Silverlight was intended for use on PCs, but with the sharp growth of the smartphone and tablet markets the company has reevaluated its purpose and appears to be narrowing down Silverlight's target developers to those working on Windows Phone 7, a software system that Microsoft controls.
Microsoft acknowledged that HTML5 effectively leads to a scenario where plug-ins are no longer needed. Therefore the company's emphasis will be on HTML5, but it said ultimately the choice of what platform to use remained with the developer. In effect, it gave up its ambition to dominate online video.
The company will release a beta of Silverlight 5 at the MIX11 event next week in Las Vegas, as it continues to maintain that this is not yet the end for the Microsoft monopoly video format. µ
'Some of us like the misery'
That'll surely affect its credit score