What is Microsoft Silverlight?

Silverlight was developed and introduced by Microsoft as an open alternative to Adobe Flash runtime in 2007. It works via plugin and web browser to display media streams and web apps.

Today, Silverlight has become obsolete thanks to the rise of HTML5 and browsers that support it directly, eliminating its need as a plug-in plug-in plug-in plug-ins. But what caused its demise?

What is Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight is a plug-in that enables Web pages to display rich media and graphics applications over the Internet using standard Web browsers, while providing a platform for their delivery over this medium.

Silverlight first launched in 2007 and quickly rose in popularity. NBC used Silverlight to stream the 2008 Olympic games while Netflix used it for their streaming service. Silverlight offered hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, HD video playback, vector animations, Web browser compatibility, Windows phone support and is designed using Microsoft’s.NET Framework programming model with Visual Studio tools so developers were familiar with it.

As mobile devices became more ubiquitous and browsers discontinued plugin support, software companies developed more reliable solutions. Examples include AngularJS – an open-source framework with a massive community that facilitates front-end development; React, which is a JavaScript library for creating single-page applications; and Blazor WebAssembly, a new platform used to build native-like mobile applications using Microsoft’s.NET framework and XAML.

Any plugin that can execute code on a user’s computer poses a potential security threat, particularly plugins like Silverlight which could potentially allow malware into your system when visiting malicious Web pages. Therefore, it’s crucial that your testing environment can detect and identify Silverlight controls and components.

Silk Test Classic provides built-in support for most Silverlight controls, including dynamic object recognition, browser window scroll detection and visibility identification of controls in current window. In addition, Silk Test Classic supports recording and replaying Silverlight controls.

IMDB, one of the world’s premier movie, TV and celebrity information sources, utilizes Silverlight applications to allow its users to search show times, view photos and trailers, share favorite films with others and access data across devices – making access and processing much more efficient and accessible. SAP developed their Cloud business application using Silverlight because this enables user interactions across devices in a seamless fashion allowing more convenient data processing across devices.

Why Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight provides an intuitive Web programming environment. Utilizing XAML, developers can build interactive applications that run across various operating systems – not to mention multimedia content such as videos, images and sounds that can be incorporated by developers into their applications.

Microsoft Azure is a cross-platform framework that runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems, offering developers the convenience of writing code once for multiple platforms without having to switch languages for each. Unfortunately, however, critics have often accused the company of not keeping its promises regarding cross-platform compatibility.

Microsoft Silverlight can also be used for rich Internet applications (RIAs). RIAs are interactive Web pages that integrate audio, video, and other forms of content for more engaging browsing experiences; providing effective ways of conveying information.

Microsoft Silverlight quickly became the go-to platform for creating rich Internet applications (RIAs) due to its unique set of features not found elsewhere at that time. Silverlight enabled developers to create animations at high frame rates while supporting Windows formats like H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding to further make RIAs visually attractive.

Over time, however, other technologies gained more traction. The rise of mobile devices combined with HTML5’s popularity and browser plugin bans led to Silverlight’s demise; by 2021 less than 0.1% of websites still used it.

Microsoft officially discontinued support for Silverlight on October 12, 2021, which meant it no longer receives quality and security updates from Microsoft. While you could still download its last version from their website, doing so no longer seems worthwhile.

There are several viable alternatives to Microsoft Silverlight that are worth considering. React, which is supported by Facebook and used by Netflix, Amazon, Airbnb, and Apple among other organizations is one such framework; another option would be Angular which has become widely adopted for single page apps development by numerous organizations – both frameworks are commonly chosen when modernizing existing Silverlight applications.

What are the benefits of Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight is a software framework for developers that enables them to create rich Internet applications (RIAs). As a plugin-based platform that runs inside web browsers, Silverlight has been deployed by numerous websites in order to stream video, provide music or images and develop interactive user interfaces.

Launched in 2007, Silverlight initially served as a competitor to Adobe Flash in providing plugin-based media players for rich Internet applications. Since their introduction, however, both technologies have diverged considerably with both providing various capabilities yet being incompatible.

Silverlight development tools are available on both Windows and Mac OS X; however, Microsoft’s integrated development environment, Visual Studio is the preferred environment. A free version known as Visual Studio Express is also available. Silverlight was also the primary software environment used in Windows Phone development and until its retirement in 2015 served as an essential development tool for Windows 8.

Silverlight stands out among its competitors because of its ability to efficiently deliver video and audio content across platforms with high performance. Furthermore, it supports interactive user interfaces, animation and vector graphics – as it’s built upon Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) class libraries so developers familiar with those should feel right at home with this platform.

Silverlight’s primary advantage lies in its widespread support by browsers – with Chrome opting to discontinue plugin support in 2015 due to performance and security concerns – Android mobile devices and iOS mobile phones also having SilverLight plugin support.

Microsoft no longer officially supports Silverlight technology; however, some users continue to utilize it for online streaming of movies and TV shows. IMDB remains a top-rated Silverlight app to assist consumers with finding show times and theater locations.

Silverlight provides business users with numerous advantages that are particularly appealing, particularly its use to develop cross-platform applications compatible with desktop computers and smartphones. SAP created Business By Design using Silverlight that enables its customers to manage operations across a range of browsers, systems, and platforms.

What are the disadvantages of Silverlight?

Microsoft Silverlight was a rich media platform designed for browser plugin environments. NBC used Silverlight extensively during the 2008 Summer Olympics and both major US political conventions; Netflix and Amazon used it too to provide their video streaming services. But as HTML5 spread, these plug-ins became less important, until finally most browsers stopped supporting them altogether by 2015 (Chrome citing performance and security concerns, followed by Firefox and Opera).

Due to this restriction, many users turned instead to more compatible streaming options like YouTube – supported by most browsers – for streaming video content. Furthermore, as mobile computing evolved further and applications began being built using languages like JavaScript integrated into web browsers were more cost and time effective development methods; additionally the rise of mobile made it clear that any application created using plugins like Silverlight was an unnecessary security risk that required the user to install software before running it on their machine.

Silverlight was also problematic because it was proprietary software; many developers prefer open source solutions that are freely accessible by anyone if their application will be published online and downloaded and run by any user. As such, most web developers today utilize HTML5, which is widely supported across browsers.

Developers need to select their programming language or framework based on their deployment environment and time to market requirements. If they have a large client base that requires their product quickly, fast development tools such as Silverlight could be ideal; its rapid development environment facilitates rapid application creation for web and mobile platforms. Microsoft tools are well-regarded, making their selection easier than learning new programming languages from scratch.

Microsoft recently announced its plan to discontinue support for Silverlight on October 12th 2021, leaving developers no longer receiving quality or security updates for their apps. As a result, now is an opportune time for developers to begin planning ahead and considering alternative technologies for their projects – modernizing existing Silverlight applications may involve opting for modernization options like AngularJS, ReactJS or React Native front-end frameworks with large communities like Facebook – these are great choices that offer alternative approaches for modernizing existing Silverlight apps!

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