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Microsoft Silverlight – what is it and why is it still around?

February 23, 2013



So in the fine Microsoft tradition, they saw a successful technology … and copied it. With Silverlight, they copied the once successful and now nearly dead Flash. In Microsoft’s own words, this is Silverlight:

Silverlight is a powerful development tool for creating engaging, interactive user experiences for Web and mobile applications. Silverlight is a free plug-in, powered by the .NET framework and compatible with multiple browsers, devices and operating systems, bringing a new level of interactivity wherever the Web works.

… Yep, sounds like Flash to me.

So why is Silverlight still being used?

I was just surfing the Web and ran across a site that actually uses Silverlight!? I don’t get it, didn’t they get the memo: using plug-in based web technology has been rejected by the … Internet. So if the MUCH more popular Flash is a fast sinking ship, what would you even think of considering Silverlight?

Advice from a seasoned nerd web designer:

Don’t even think of using Microsoft Silverlight … even thinking about it is a waste of time and brain power.


For the same reasons you should not use Flash: many, many visitors to your Silverlight powered sites, will not be able to see your Silverlight content because they will not have the plugin.

If you want fancy page effects and animations, learn HTML5 and jQuery because everyone will be able to see your work.

Just in case you are a glutton for punishment:

… But I wouldn’t if I were you!

Stefan Mischook (worst domain name ever!)