Silverlight heading for an "updated" role at MIX 11

Three heavyweights of Microsoft's Developer Division, which is in charge of all kinds of things from Visual Studio to developer tools, languages and runtimes, have taken to the official Silverlight blog to respond to a number of recent criticisms the web plugin has received, and address its future.

Silverlight started out life as a cross-browser, cross-platform browser plugin for building rich internet apps which would look great on a variety of computers. Then HTML 5 really came to the fore in terms of web development and many browser vendors started pushing its more advanced features live. In the end Microsoft did the same, with their latest version of Internet Explorer being the most standards-compliant ever. Silverlight had evolved to include desktop applications and superseded Adobe AIR in that respect in many people's eyes, but it never got as big adoption as Microsoft would have liked.

Now that Microsoft really have got on board the HTML 5 standards route with IE 9, a lot of Microsoft critics started asking what role Silverlight would be taking in Microsoft's oncoming strategy. To that end, Walid Abu-Habda (Corporate Vice President for Developer Platform and Evangelism), Scott Guthrie (Corporate Vice President for .NET Developer Platform) and Sivaramakrishnan Somasegar (Senior Vice President, Developer Division) contributed a long post about developer tools, Silverlight's progress, and the future of the platform going forwards. It looks like Silverlight will be re-purposed into a plugin which can be used to enhance the HTML 5 experience and push forwards the boundaries once again, so that standards can be subsequently approved.

They also announced a beta of the brand new Silverlight 5 will arrive at the MIX conference which is happening soon.

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