In response to the Mary Jo Foley article about apparent Silverlight strategy shift (I’ve mentioned it), Bob Muglia has now clarified a couple of things. To spare you a visit of his blog, here is my short version*:
a) Microsoft has failed to put Silverlight on to iOS (and, for some unknown reason, on Android).
b) Microsoft has failed to provide a viable OS for an iPad-killer
c) Given the fact how quick Apple and Google develop their market shares in this connected devices area, Microsoft’s knee-jerk reaction was to support at least something to be able to be present on these markets.
This something is happened to be a new version of the Hyper Text Markup Language. Which is very unfortunate due to two reasons.
First, it is still the HTML we all know. Think about “design by commitee”, browser incompatibilities, the need of backward compatibility, and complete lack of understanding the real-life needs and use-cases of software industry clearly shown by its academic creators, first and foremost by Tim Berners-Lee.
Second, it is seen by some (crazy) developers as a serious competitor of Silverlight.
The results of this move are suboptimal. If Microsoft will follow the loud requests of some panicing folks and will feel itself under pressure to release some next Silverlight version, no matter how half-baked it is, it would damage the quality and stability of the Silverlight platform. If they won’t, these folks might crack up and jump off the train.
IMO, the best reaction for all Silverlight developers is to calm down, write off this year’s PDC and look forward to the next year’s MIX. After all, Microsoft has announced support of HTML5 in IE9 months ago, so these are old news.
Windows Azure is a more interesting PDC10 topic, but I will write about it in the next post.
(*) Okay, not exactly the short version, but my own speculations on the topic. You may want to read the original post.