What is the Future of Silverlight? Let’s Discuss…


When the power of HTML5 on Windows 8 was first showcased, we have seen a lot of rumours on the future of Silverlight. Many online article mentioned that, it is the end of Silverlight. Some said Microsoft is going to stop the development of Silverlight after this Silverlight 5 release and there will be no Silverlight 6 in future. Is it really so?

 

Let us discuss this topic here. I am not going to write an article this time. We will have a discussion on this topic, your career goal on this platform and what your customers say about it. There are plenty of gifts for you to win. Among them one will be Telerik Ultimate Collection license and the other will be a Pluralsight Annual Plus Subscription from me. So, take part of the discussion, hear from other users voice, discuss and win cool gifts.

 

Background

For couple of months we are hearing that “Silverlight is Dead”, but is it really dead? Different posts on internet has different voice. You may refer some blog posts those I bookmarked in Silverlight-Zone.com and here are they:

You may notice that, there are some mix of juice here from different people and as a Silverlight Developer and MVP, I want to know what the users say about the future of it. Is it really coming to an end or will it stay for long time. Want to hear users voice. Let us discuss it here and read what others say about it.

 

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  2. Discuss what do you think about the ”Future of Silverlight” in the Comment Section of this post.
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The last date of the entry will be 10th December 2011. The panels decision will be final. The result will be announce by 15th December 2011. Due to some reasons, we postponed the declaration of the result. Will announce it shortly.


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37 comments

  1. Well, i think there's no place for silver light in future with the advent of html5 porting to multiple solutions became easier.even adobe said that they stop updating flash and work towards html5.but due to Microsoft support policy it should continue the support for Silver light5 for 5 more years.so i think Silver light platform came to an end..so developers better pick html5 to start developing. ! :)

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  2. Oh sorry i forgot my twitter username : vamship564 :)

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  3. Silverlight has the future only if Microsoft is going to fully back it up. Without aggressive marketing support it will die quite soon. Another option is make it open source, but I'm afraid MS will never do that. And WinRT is not a replacement for Silverlight in any way, though it's better than nothing.

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  4. Silverlight will continue to be utilized even the stagey.

    http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/11/Silverlight-Transition-WinRT

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  5. Indeed, for more support for Mobile platform, and future direction of Win8, Silverlight's end is inevitable. More would want to go to HTML 5. The Talk is, Next version of LightSwitch will have HTML5 as Output option !

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  6. I strongly believe HTML5 is the future. But only IN the future. Right now Silverlight still add heaps of value in ease of development, deployment, architecture and rich client-side interaction.

    Drawing onto a canvas to do graphics stuff with clunky JS command feels painful at best. I have fallen in love with XAML, MVVM and the whole Binding paradigm. It requires so little code in a powerful framework that makes it easy to develop, read and maintain.

    On the other hand I love the leap HTML5 has brought to HTML, but it still feels clunky coming out of SL development. It makes me sad SL is getting discontinued, but it was always the logical evolution. I just think it's about a year or 2 too soon, HTML5 is just not yet a valid alternative for native OS-like business applications that require that fast streamlined client-interaction.

    I will embrace the future, but for now I'm still on the SL boat. I will always aspire to write the best software for my customers, and will make sure I choose the platform to do that. Win8 is an awesome prospect, with an awesome number of question marks behind it. For now, my customers are wowed and impressed by our SL apps, the only thing HTML5 impresses is devs (because we know how friggin hard doing the same thing in HTML4 used to be :))

    Cheers,

    @jorisdries

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  7. Hey Kunal,
    I have also been working on Silverlight for quite some time and to be honest, when it released, I was very excited to work with these awesome features. After MS released SL5, we are heraing this news from different posts, however, we are yet to see any news from MS guys on what they plan in future. HTML5 is definitely going to be the future and Silverlight won't stay too long if Microsoft is not backing it up.
    Twitter:niteshluharuka
    Website:www.niteshluharuka.com

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  8. You are right Kunal...

    First of all, it’s a very complicated ask to talk on, and everyone might have different idea over this topic.

    When I was entering in the learning of technology I have chosen Silverlight but when I asked the same from some the technology enthusiast, they too suggested me not to choose Silverlight because of the same you have outlined above like this is going to dead blob blob blob.

    But now, when I am using such technology I can say it’s not going to be happened.

    As a programmer my opinion is, HTML5 will not improve programming productivity, while Silverlight will. In my understanding, programmers still need to program in JavaScript to take advantage of HTML5.

    Abhimanyu Kumar Vatsa
    Founder of ITORIAN.COM

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  9. Silverlight is a great product beyond doubt., but dont try to make a career out of it and think of buying buildings & cars. Grow up people! Come out of the world of abstractions. Promote open web standards. Help in creating a 3rd party plugin free browser., the web is for everyone, not just for SL or Flash installed folks.

    Even if Microsoft promotes SL with marketing efforts, it is only to satisfy you people. It will lose heavily if it doesnt support open standards. Mozilla, Chrome & all big vendors are already leading the race and for sure Microsoft is making the right decision by supporting HTML5. Im not sure why many of you develop "hatred" to HTML5, just because it is competing heavily with SL. Developers SHOULD learn, unlearn and relearn. It is a continuous process. On the web, just learn OPEN technologies & OPEN web standards., NOT proprietory ones. THIS IS THE SECRET TO BE A WINNER, ALWAYS!

    - Your friendly hacker :)

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  10. As there seems to be no clear winner between the current two dominant forces i.e. Ios and Android, in mobile devices (read smart phones and tablets)
    there is a need to have a standard based application developement which can support both the ecosystems. There HTML5/CSS becomes a logical choice.

    And also as windows remain the OS of choice for masses in the forseeable future, most organisations will choose HTML5, so as with the same set of
    employees they can develop applications for both mobile and windows desktop.

    Silverlight is sold as the technology to develope LOB applications, however almost all you can do with HTML5.

    So Silverlight as a plug-in has got limited number of days left; may be XAML still has got some juice left.

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  11. If Microsoft kills Silverlight, the future for SL developers and WP7 developers are very dark. Will Microsoft use WinRT on Windows Phone? If so, all work done until today are going to be lost. Microsoft without us, the developers, are nothing!
    We must do something, we can't cross our arms and stay quite.
    Many companies, people, have spent a lot of money and time investing in SL.
    Let's force Microsoft to say anything about the future of SL.
    Let's boycott the release of SL 5. Let's spread the news to the WP7 developers that they will have to rewrite all their applications if SL is dead.
    Let's spread the news to the LightSwitch users too.
    Let's make a revolution!!!

    By the way, SL is still the best platform to develop LOB applications, and for that HTML 5 have no future. SL is the future for that type of applications. Going to HTML is like going back 10 years back.

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  12. what I think about future of silverlight is that it has good future because it has good area which other like HTML5 is missing and also that HTML5 is not final it has to be final and need some time.
    I also work in silverlight and love to work in future assignment as well becuase of the free hand it give to the developer is fine you can do what ever you want to do. You can also check my blog how much work I have work in Silverlight :).
    I am hopeful for the bright future of silverlight :)

    Asim Sajjad
    http://asimsajjad.blogspot.com
    http://twitter.com/asimsajjad

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  13. Mike James at i-programmer.info wrote:

    Put simply, if WP8 is WinRT based, WP7 and all its apps will be dead in the water - they will all have to be recoded and WP8 will mark a complete restart.

    The death of Silverlight is also the death of WP7 and its apps, which will have to be reborn as WP8 apps. You can see why Microsoft hopes no one has noticed.

    Moving to WinRT could be the biggest mistake Microsoft has ever made as, when the news sinks in, it will kill WP7 just as it is relaunched.

    My comment: adoption of Win8 in Bussines Enterprise Environments will be very slow, much slower than it is for Win7. Silverlight is the best technology for building LOB apps and so will be for many years to come.

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  14. Technology will change and live will move on either it is Silverlight or HTML5 every one will end one day even human

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  15. @Asim Sajjad, yes I have seen your blog. Posts are really good and in-depth. Mainly I enjoyed reading your DataGrid samples.

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  16. @All, I really enjoyed reading all of your comments. Different people have different opinions here and I think, Microsoft should comment something on the future of Silverlight.

    Let more comments come. Don't forget to read out various views by different people in the current market. Something has to learn from each comment.

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  17. I really believe that Silverlight is about to die outside of Microsoft's control. There is a huge movement to remove all plugins from major browsers on the Mac. I believe this is a very real possibility since Apple has done such a hard push against Flash. While I believe WinRT will offer some great opportunities for the Silverlight developer, the fact of the matter is that is not here yet.

    When a developer tells me to just wait for WinRT, I just have to laugh because this day and time many developers can no longer just develope Windows. For me I have begun to move several major projects away from Silverlight, despite how painful it is because we have to support iPad, ect. The world is bigger than the Microsoft platform, and I think Microsoft is seeing that. This is why they are pushing to move into a stronger HTML5 position.

    You can read more details on my thoughts at:
    http://indepthdev.com/2011/11/silverlights-death-living-up-to-expectations/

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  18. Hey Devs
    Hold on your HTML5 horses. Silverlight is the key technology for developing LOB apps. I am using this technology right from its first release. I have developed many mission critical apps which our clients are using worldwide. Enterprises around the world have invested heavily on Silverlight and I don't think so MS can back off until they provide something similar or rather better than Silverlight. I just can't imagine writing a LOB app which has more than 400 screens and 200 database objects using HTML5 and JavaScript, it would take decade to complete the project ;). On the other hand WinRT looks promising but I haven't seen yet any demo or code for developing LOB app. Moreover any app developed for Win8 would require marketplace certification. I don't think so organization will be in this favour. Talking about tablets and smartphones quote me any examples where business users uses these devices to do their official work except for email communication. HTML5 is still in very raw state and would take years to mature. I still hear from HTML devs that one particular feature is working in one browser but not in the another one, with LOB apps you can't take these chances. Last but not least like me most of you code for money , you can't become millionaire by writing apps for marketplace or html websites. Major chunk of dollars flows from enterprises for their LOB apps work and their maintenance. Hope I have made my point. The bottom line is that Silverlight is very much alive and kicking :)

    Thanks
    Afzal

    Twitter: goldytech
    Web : http://goldytech.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is a great discussion.

    At the moment, I do not see Silverlight being killed-off strictly because of Microsoft's push onto mobile phones with Windows Phone 7 - it already seems, though, as if HTML5 without additional plug-ins (e.g. Flash, Java, Silverlight, or whatever plug-in one might wish to utilize) is the future path for all app development (phone, desktop, tablet, laptop, and so on), and I'd guess that even the Windows Phone 7 platform would move into this direction (due to having a browser on the device itself)--it seems as if Windows 8 is heading this way as well (with legacy support to some degree, per what I've read so far).

    Will Silverlight ever go completely away? To answer this, people are still using old versions of DOS (and/or IE6 and/or very old programming languages/platforms) even in 2011...

    Note: I speak for myself on this (and not for Microsoft).

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  20. Another review article here
    http://www.georelated.com/2011/11/web-mapping-enabling-technology-are.html

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  21. Actually I just don't understand MS. Yes, for consumer based applications, HTML5 is the way to go, but for LOB Silverlight is just perfect. What's the problem with just to clearly emphasize that and stop all these rumors? Moreover, with RIA Services and RIA/JS it's now possible to use THE SAME server side from Silverlight and HTML5/JS clients. If you consider Script# and JSIL projects then it's absolutely clear, that with a little effort MS can implement cross compile of SUBSET of XAML/Silverlight to HTML5/JS. The advantage of that will be huge. Designers can use Blend for XAML UI design and get draft HTML5 UI just by using converter. Developers can use C# instead of ugly JS. It's much easier to get stable C# code and cross compile it to JS, than mess with JS all the time. And JS is really bad for team development. Of course there will be some restrictions for this cross compilation, but it's expected and ok, but for Silverlight it will be a great step forward. If HTML5/JS is less than 20% in my LOB application codebase I'm fine with it :-) And again, it's quite easy to achieve, so what's the problem with you MS?

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  22. For Business apps, Silverlight is the Best, and It wont die boss as it provides:
    OOB (Out of Browser)
    COM interoperability
    WCF RIA services/secure connectivity
    RAD (Rapid Application Development)*
    Video streaming/GPU acceleration
    WP7 support for mobile
    Printing/3D Animation are okay

    Ofcourse there are many other stuff provided by Silverlight but, similar can be achieved using HTML 5 as well.

    I have highlighted RAD, as the productivity increases a lot for any business application.

    Silverlight 5 is about to launch, but there has been no light thrown from Microsoft for Silverlight 6(very disappointing, but lets hope, MS will continue to support Silverlight), is the concern I have for now.

    Any, other suggestions/comments are welcome.

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  23. I never worked with. Net until know Silverlight 2.
    From that moment I saw that is the best tool for developers, and for an end user.

    I would seem ridiculous to leave, apart from a huge mistake for Microsoft, since it is their best chance in years.

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  24. Lets rethink the paradigm.

    1. XAML is here to stay for a long time as evident by the Win8 OS.

    2. Silverlight is just the player and library (cut down .Net).

    When people say Silverlight is dead, I believe they are thinking of the language and not realizing its just the player that is in question?

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  25. I think that Microsoft is migrating the XAML-based technology that is the basis of Silverlight and WPF by creating WinRT, a part of Windows 8, and by creating WinRT plugins that enable it to be used by web applications. I created a post that explains this prediction in the Silverlight forum:

    http://forums.silverlight.net/t/239388.aspx/1?What+is+the+future+of+Silverlight+and+XAML+to+build+web+applications+

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  26. Wow, lots of denial in these posts.

    1. Silveright 5 is the end of the road.
    2. Silveright 5 will only have 12 months of support.
    3. XAML is not silverlight, arguments that WinRT will allow you to transition XAML knowledge have no bearing at all on whether silverlight is dead or not.
    4. Silverlight is a plugin, cross platform, cross browser. As such, it is dead. Again, WinRT & XAML is not silverlight.
    5. No one is going to want to invest in a technology that is EOL in 2012 so uptake of SL 5 will be very minimal.
    6. WinRT is not going to be the replacement, win8 is a long way from being released and even after release it will be an even longer time before corps are running win 8 or later that includes winRT so there will be no client to deploy XAML/WinRT solutions to for many years.

    In conclusion, silverlight is dead. You should be making plans to migrate existing silverlight applications to different technologies (html 5 and js if web based). Side note, if you're going to be using open standards to develop apps, why do you need any Microsoft technology in your application?

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  27. We are currently developing in Silverlight and our customers ask us daily if we should be developing in HTML5. They like what we are producing today but they think they want access to the web portal from their smartphones. My thought is what they really want is an app for their particular phone. HTML5 won't solve that.

    I have to believe that whatever XAML is produced via Silverlight will have a utility to translate it to HTML5 at some point in the near future. We are not going to abandon Silverlight for HTML5 anytime soon!

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  28. Hi
    I don't think that silverlight will be died in future.It has been developed to do LOB type application. HTML5 has been developed for doing portal and more public facing site. So both are good in their own field.Both technology has advantage and disadvantage.

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  29. There is no feature, it's dead.

    http://blog.lowendahl.net/?p=323
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/will-there-be-a-silverlight-6-and-does-it-matter/11180

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  30. Hi,
    To answer this question (from the view point of Microsoft in my opinion) you should take a look at the marketing/business side and not on the development side.
    Microsoft is now focusing on tablets and phones this means that it supports the technologies that work on any of those devices,
    So it will support WinRT and WP7, and in both cases you can develope with html/JS.
    I believe that Silverlight is a wonderful easier than html/js in terms of development, but we should keep up the world, and the world is Microsoft ;)

    I am a Silverlight geek, but I am also keeping an eye on html/js.
    I think that Silverlight will not die but will go dormant, as it now can be used in:
    - Media streaming
    - 3D Animation
    - COM interoperability
    - LOB applications
    Silverlight 6 will not see the light else if there are big changes like: supporting Win8(metro) and WP7.

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  31. A good summary of whats going on for Flash/Flex, Silverlight and HTML5s futures...

    http://www.georelated.com/2011/11/web-mapping-enabling-technology-are.html

    I tend to agree that its much more about the commercials and cost bases and competition... Apple, MS and Adobe are flexing their muscles for territory at a time when cost bases are severely under pressure...

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  32. Every framework, language, runtime and operating system is subject to change, to improvement, to flux and, yes, to obsolescence. What differ from project to project is how near-term that obsolescence is and how disruptive the change will be. The shift from Visual Basic to Visual Studio .NET, then .NET 1.1. to 2.0 and to 4.0, was incremental. Some of the further changes were, too. .NET, which underlies both Silverlight and the XAML approach to WinRT development, has just about reached 10 years of age.
    Meanwhile, the transition to the .NET development model for Windows 8 Metro-style applications is actually quite gentle. It's not an accident. This is a protected transition. It's not a slap in the face.
    Silverlight Road Ahead:
    Let’s compare WinRT & Win 32 to get clear picture
    The Windows Runtime API (WinRT) replaces the old Win32 libraries for accessing operating system functions. The WinRT API is object oriented, largely asynchronous, and callable easily by a wide variety of programming languages.Win32 continues to be supported by Windows 8, and it is what enables all existing Windows 7 applications to function in the Windows 8 desktop environment.
    Moreover, No current technologies directly map to the WinRT/Metro environment.
    The current technology that is closest to WinRT is Silverlight. Developers using Silverlight today will find that their skills remain relevant, and that much of their code can be rewritten for WinRT with reasonable effort.
    Tim Greenfield, a Silverlight Insider, has compared the WinRT API with Silverlight’s, to see how similar or different they are and how easy would be for a developer to make the transition to Microsoft’s newer technology. He concluded that Silverlight has 1,582 types in common with WinRT, with only 607 types not found in Windows 8’s core API. That means 72% of Silverlight types are present in WinRT. Of course, WinRT has also many new types (4396) not present in Silverlight, dealing with new features. Greenfield also counted all the members of those 1,582 types (properties, method, events), resulting 10,375 common members, and there are 651 Silverlight-only ones. That is 94% overlap between common Silverlight members and WinRT. Greenfield concludes his study:
    • WinRT includes a ton of new types. Some of these are certainly for new features such as the marketplace, accelerometer support, etc.
    • When comparing just the shared types, SL5 starts to look very close to an actual subset of WinRT. This is good news for Silverlight developers because it means most of your existing code should easily port.
    Silverlight to WinRT .NET
    Silverlight provides a reasonable migration path to WinRT.
    • Silverlight and WinRT use XAML to describe the UI layout and interaction.
    • The WinRT subset of .NET is not that different from the existing Silverlight subset of .NET.
    • Silverlight and WinRT both require asynchronous interaction with servers, so Silverlight applications are already architected and designed to be asynchronous.
    It is important to understand that Silverlight applications won’t “just run” on WinRT. Although they use similar XAML and have a similar .NET subset, there are enough differences that any migration effort will require some reworking of the XAML and application code. I expect substantial XAML and code asset reuse, but with some effort.
    One important consideration is to use clear layering and separation of concerns when building Silverlight applications. Applications should avoid all “code-behind” the XAML controls, and should use the MVVM (model-view-viewmodel) design pattern to cleanly separate all code from the XAML.
    Although Silverlight is a plugin, still it provides the One of the Best LOB applications, that HTML 5 lacks yet.
    So application build using Silverlight will go to stay in the nearer future too.
    What I believe Silverlight will definitely see a shift and will lose its shine but will not going to die soon!!!!!

    Still not convince read my blog !!
    http://gopal-chettri.blogspot.com/

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  33. In my opinion Silverlight is not dead, it may not get any more major releases after 5 but it still have a self life of around 6 to 8 years. I am talking purely from enterprise development perspective. Think about all the big companies invested all their new development around Silverlight for the past 2 years. That was a huge investment and no companies are going flip over and turn to something over night. HTML5 may be the future but it is not a viable solution right now for customer facing consumer web application. When we develop web application, we request only client to install Silverlight, we can't force the user to use IE9 or forward. With that perspective, I still think Silverlight is going to be around for another 6 to 8 years for sure.

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  34. Good point Unni. I also have the same point. Remember when the Silverlight came into the market! At that time, people were saying that ASP.Net is dead, but you can see that, it is still in the market.

    Similarly, Silverlight will also be there for around few more years. May be there is still a good future of it.

    Other side, HTML5 is not yet standard. We don't know what will be the benefits of using it. Will it really support enterprise development like Silverlight? In my opinion, Silverlight will not die soon, but yes, we need some voice from Microsoft.

    Microsoft, are you listening our voice? Then please speak out.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Well i want to mention again :

    IT in the enterprise moves slowly and cautiously, upgrading only when safe and necessary. IT interests intentionally live in the past.

    On the other hand, developers and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) not only want to use the latest and greatest technologies, but this constituency prides itself on gauging tech's future, and basing its present-day strategy upon it.

    So saying Silverlight is Dead is completely absurd, but silverlight will loose its shine that is sure !!! What you think Kunal?

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  36. I am totally agree with you Gopal. Since, many companies already built their products with Silverlight, it will not be feasible for them to migrate to other technology which they don't know about (I mean the complete dev support). So, at that point of time, saying "Dead" is completely void.

    We want some voice from Microsoft and that could me one best support to say about the future. Everything (including products, career) now depends on that word. Microsoft, speak up.

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  37. Microsoft .Net core team Head (John Papa & Scott Gu) shifted themselves form .net, concentrating on windows 8 and HTML 5+ Java script. Leaving entire developer world who thrives on Microsoft Stack in vague for Silverlight future :P

    ReplyDelete


 
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