updated 09:35 am EST, Wed November 9, 2011
Microosft may axe Silverlight after major release
Microsoft may join in decisions to drop proprietary plugins with an exit from Silverlight, insiders mentioned later on Tuesday. Silverlight 5, expected to be finished by the end November, is said by Microsoft partner contacts for ZDNet to be the last-ever version. It might not get any minor updates and may even go without any support beyond Internet Explorer for Windows, backtracking on claims of cross-platform support.
The company has been giving indirect support to the argument through a large-scale reorganization of the Silverlight team. It has also remained unusually silent about the future of Silverlight beyond 5, although some of this may have come from a more Apple-like decision to avoid telegraphing too much of its roadmap.
Silverlight might continue in Microsoft products, but most of the company's attention towards it has been devoted towards using it as a development platform for its non-PC devices, initially with Zune HD and later with Windows Phone and Xbox 360. AS a whole, it has been encouraging more development of its pseudo-standard XAML web code as well as from genuinely universal HTML5. Windows 8's tablet-native apps can be written virtually exclusively with web code.
Microsoft hasn't confirmed the apparent leaks, but it has made a large point of Windows Phone 7.5 supporting hardware-accelerated HTML5 on the web. Internet Explorer 9 on the desktop already had boosted HTML5 support.