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Microsoft's SkyDrive Drops Silverlight 358

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thats-not-good dept.
mikejuk writes "Microsoft's SkyDrive, a web service that provides cloud storage for end user files, has just acquired a revamped user interface — and it is HTML5 based. Yes, another Microsoft website has dropped Silverlight. How can Microsoft expect independent developers to base their future on Silverlight when Microsoft itself is abandoning it like a sinking ship? Whatever happened to 'eating your own dog food'? It seems that now Microsoft would rather eat dog food made elsewhere..."
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Microsoft's SkyDrive Drops Silverlight

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  • MS hate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgeys (2240696) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:20PM (#36517756)
    So Microsoft starts using standards compliant HTML5 instead of Silverlight on their sites and you bash them for it? Seriously?

    And regardless, HTML5 was nowhere to be seen when Silverlight came out. It was needed back then, if only as a competitor for Flash. Have you noticed Silverlight hasn't even had the same security concerns and exploits as Flash?

    This is a good thing from Microsoft, not bad. Stop bashing them for everything they do, even if its a good thing.
    • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Funny)

      by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:22PM (#36517794) Homepage

      Have you noticed Silverlight hasn't even had the same security concerns and exploits as Flash?

      You have to be fair; noone will exploit a plugin nobody has installed or uses.

      • by kwerle (39371)

        Have you noticed Silverlight hasn't even had the same security concerns and exploits as Flash?

        You have to be fair; noone will exploit a plugin nobody has installed or uses.

        Netflix is still using Silverlight, right? Doesn't that mean it has a reasonably large user base?

        • by NuShrike (561140)

          No when you count the users on iPhones, PS3s, Androids, Rokus, Boxees, Wiis, Xbox 360s, TiVos, Wimpy7s, etc etc.

          No Silverlights there, and becoming practically irrelevant except for PCs.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        http://riastats.com/

        Silverlight is actually on 75% of Internet browsers.

        • They left out a couple of pretty big operating systems: iOS and Android. This is weird considering they listed Symbian and Windows Mobile. The real percentage is going to be significantly less than that. But for the sake of argument, pretend it's accurate. That means that it isn't on 25% of internet browsers.

          If you are building for the web, that's a huge number to ignore. Especially when there are competitive technologies available with far better numbers. Why would you chose Silverlight for anything but th

        • by nschubach (922175)

          And I keep removing it after my workplace keeps installing it! I'm going to have to do what I did with the policies and create a restricted folder with the same name to cause it to error out on install.

          • by SpryGuy (206254)

            One would have to ask why you bother going through all that effort? How is it harmful to have Silverlight on your system? It isn't. In fact, it's pretty lightweight, installs very quickly (either via Windows update or via a link that anyone can click), doesn't gum up or muck up a system or use resources when not in use...

            Seriously, your efforts seem rather irrational to me. What exactly is the point?

    • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:22PM (#36517800)

      This is a perfect example of "damned if they do, damned if they don't".

      Oh, and typical Slashdot bullshit :)

      • Re:MS hate (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:49PM (#36518360) Homepage

        How is this an example of "damned if they do, damned if they don't"? Microsoft made Silverlight, pushed a lot of sites to use it at the displeasure of many (Netflix), now they are dropping support?

        This is rather an example of MS making crap, MS pushing crap, and MS not being able to support their own crap, but still wanting everyone to use it. That's not damned if you do or don't, that's just everyone saying "It sucks, stop pushing it when you can't even use it."

        I.E. - Windows Vista

        • by node 3 (115640)

          How is this an example of "damned if they do, damned if they don't"? Microsoft made Silverlight, pushed a lot of sites to use it at the displeasure of many (Netflix), now they are dropping support?

          MS uses Silverlight, the nerds rage. MS stops using Silverlight, the nerds rage.

        • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dhavleak (912889) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:27PM (#36519076)

          Microsoft made Silverlight, pushed a lot of sites to use it at the displeasure of many (Netflix), now they are dropping support?

          1. How did Microsoft "push" Netflix?
          2. When did Microsoft "drop support" for Silverlight?

        • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Informative)

          by athmanb (100367) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:35PM (#36519208)

          When Silverlight 1 came out in 2007, there were three competitors for it:
          - ActiveX which was a horrible 90s idea and is unable to function in a world where you can't trust people not to try to build exploits
          - Java which was so bad at doing what it was supposed to do that it went from almost 100% market share to almost 0% with the rise of Flash.
          - Flash which did the job it was supposed to do but had horrible development tools and literally hundreds of security problems since then due to shoddy product quality

          Microsoft created Silverlight to solve these shortcomings and they did a pretty good job at it. Programming web code in Visual Studio is a leaps better than Flash and the Netflix probably saved millions by not wasting their developers' time with the horrible Flash UI and code oddities.

          Only now, four years later, is HTML5 beginning to come to a point where it can be a proper tool to do what you used to use one of the above plugins for.

          And by the way, IT changes fast in general, no developer can honestly expect to code in the same language from college to retirement. HTML5 - and the languages that you actually write code in like JQuery - are in an extreme prototype state right now, going to change radically several times in the next years before people figure out that they completely screwed up some important paradigms and start parts of the standard from scratch for HTML6. Everyone will have to keep relearning their languages if they want to stay current.

      • Re:MS hate (Score:4, Insightful)

        by denis-The-menace (471988) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:51PM (#36518390)

        Actually, there is no hate.

        It's more of a Ha-Ha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX7wtNOkuHo [youtube.com] to the developers that dared to try to make $ on a MS technology.

        Almost every company that has worked with MS has gotten stabbed in the back.

        • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Funny)

          by Tetsujin (103070) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:54PM (#36518426) Homepage Journal

          Almost every company that has worked with MS has gotten stabbed in the back.

          Look on the bright side. At least you get to keep the knife.

        • Re:MS hate (Score:4, Insightful)

          by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:14PM (#36518842)

          Actually, there is no hate.

          Against MS?

          It's more of a Ha-Ha to the developers that dared to try to make $ on a MS technology.

          A "Ha-Ha" motivated by hatred towards MS.

          Almost every company that has worked with MS has gotten stabbed in the back.

          More MS hate.

          and your sig

          Microsoft: Making "just good enough" products to keep people from using "Good" or "Great" products since 95'

          More MS hate.

      • by BeanThere (28381)

        Actually this time I would say it's not really "slashdot" whining, just a small but loud minority of developers who backed Silverlight. Most of the rest of us don't care, though I do feel like saying "I told you to so" to some annoying pro-Microsoft developers I worked with who used to try push Silverlight down our throats almost religiously.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      True. It's more of them "using the appropriate tool for the job". Silverlight might have other / better uses elsewhere, not a Web UI, what with tools like HTML 5 and CSS3. This is good news.

      • by Shados (741919)

        Yup. Silverlight is just poorly marketed. When originally it was called WPF/E (WPF Everywhere), and .NET devs were begging for it, it was to be used for line of business applications and optimized for browser experience in a _somewhat_ cross platform manner.

        This was in contrast with XBAP, which is pure WPF (the newer UI tech of .NET), which works in a browser sandbox but only on Windows, but isn't really designed from the ground up for it.

        But then someone at Microsoft decided they wanted to take on Flash. T

    • by gilesjuk (604902)

      It's good for the public and the browser makers. But damned annoying for the developers who believed the Silverlight evangelists preaching about how it was going to kill Flash.
      It's also a bit irritating for those who invested time building Silverlight chart engines and other rich controls for reporting tools.

      • Re:MS hate (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheCRAIGGERS (909877) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:32PM (#36517990)

        Sometimes we bet on the wrong technology. Shit, like change, happens. All you can do is see it coming and move on to what did win.

        Hell, I remember going through the same thing after putting a bunch of time into learning Borland OWL, back when it was competing with Microsoft's MFC. I was too evangelical myself at the time to see what was going to happen and I paid for it.

        • by debrain (29228)

          Hell, I remember going through the same thing after putting a bunch of time into learning Borland OWL, back when it was competing with Microsoft's MFC. I was too evangelical myself at the time to see what was going to happen and I paid for it.

          In fairness, people still fondly remember Borland OWL, and their charming yellow-on-blue IDE, failure though OWL may have been. My memories of MFC give me haunting chills.

        • Sometimes we bet on the wrong technology.

          Not even really. Silverlight was (and is) an alternative to its contemporary competitors: Flash and Javascript.

          It offered a superior offering. Now HTML 5, almost five years later is offering something new and advantageous in the form of native support on multiple platforms/form factors.

          5 years is a long time in the tech world.

      • But damned annoying for the developers who believed the Silverlight evangelists preaching about how it was going to kill Flash.

        I knew Silverlight was never going to kill Flash. It might have killed Flex and Flash Builder, but not Flash CS. Did Microsoft ever make a tool for authoring vector animations (e.g. Homestar Runner or Weebl's stuff) in Silverlight?

      • by node 3 (115640)

        It's good for the public and the browser makers.

        But nowhere do you see people focusing on this. The wording of this story, like almost any story on Slashdot about MS or Apple, is pure trolling.

        But damned annoying for the developers who believed the Silverlight evangelists preaching about how it was going to kill Flash.

        Anyone who believed that deserves what they get.

        It's also a bit irritating for those who invested time building Silverlight chart engines and other rich controls for reporting tools.

        And the same here.

        But none of that detracts from the general idea that the less requirements for the use of Silverlight (and Flash) on the web in favor of HTML5, the better.

    • by hasbeard (982620)
      I have to agree with the original poster. Usually Microsoft is criticized for taking someone else's work and adding their own proprietary elements (e.g., their own version of Java) which is incompatible with what everyone else is doing. It may not please their developer community, but it may lead to other people willing to develop for their platforms.
    • by Ruke (857276)
      I certainly agree that Microsoft using HTML5 over Silverlight is a good thing. I can also see how shops who've invested heavily in Silverlight would be upset that Microsoft seems to be phasing away from the format. Can we treat this like a news topic, where we discuss potential implications, instead of assuming that Slashdot is a hive mind and has to come to a "THIS GOOD" or "THIS BAD" consensus?
      • by NuShrike (561140)

        Shops that heavily invested in Silverlight deserve getting razed for it.

        When all the post-PC news does not involve MS nor MS technologies to any significant degree, going SIlverlight to shortcut real development is pure, moronic suicide. In fact at this point, heavily investing in any MS-technologies without hedging (such as DirectX while the rest of the mobile world is OpenGLES 2.x) is just daft.

        • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Un pobre guey (593801) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:59PM (#36518530) Homepage
          Investing in MS technologies has always been foolhardy. This is just one more episode in a long history of them pulling the rug from beneath their customers' feet in order to make them buy yet another full line of "new" software development tools. It has happened before, it will happen again. It's a suckers' game, and it's baffling how so many people fall into it again and again, especially in the presence of a large, diverse and stable palette of FOSS development tools that evolve in a generally orderly and predictable fashion. Has this ever happened to Perl, Python, PHP, or Ruby developers?.
          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            Has this ever happened to Perl, Python, PHP, or Ruby developers?.

            YES!

            Microsoft dropped support for both IronRuby and IronPython.

            oh wait, that's not what you meant is it....

    • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Funny)

      by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:33PM (#36518024)

      Yep, they can have a pat on the back for this one... though I still haven't forgiven them for the 1997 bailout of Apple [nytimes.com].

      • by tooyoung (853621)
        +4 Funny - nice. This comment would have been a lot funnier if it wasn't your fifth post in the past week where you brought up the Microsoft/Apple "bailout". Kind of a weird axe to grind if you ask me.
      • by node 3 (115640)

        The $150 million "bailout" (by buying stock and promising to continue selling a very profitable product, in exchange for cross-licensing and an end to a long-running lawsuit) of a company that had billions of dollars *in cash*? That "bailout"?

        Go troll somewhere else.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Have you noticed Silverlight hasn't even had the same security concerns and exploits as Flash?

      It's certainly had its fair share of "critical updates"... ...none of which have managed to install itself on any of my machines.

      I'm pretty sick of saying "don't install this" after it fails for the umpteenth time (but still asks me to reboot my machine anyway).

    • That's what I was thinking too. If silverlight had wide adoption they would have stuck with it. But if they can't have the vendor lock in they don't want anybody to have it so HTML5 it is.
    • by drb226 (1938360)

      Have you noticed Silverlight hasn't even had the same security concerns and exploits as Flash?

      In fairness, the lack of "security concerns" in Silverlight compared to Flash in this case is rather similar to Linux's lack of "security concerns" compared to Windows. It's just not used nearly as much.

    • So Microsoft starts using standards compliant HTML5 instead of Silverlight on their sites and you bash them for it? Seriously?

      The submitter must be one of many bitter developers who bought into Silverlight to begin with.

    • Re:MS hate (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ron_ivi (607351) <[moc.secivedxelpmocpaehc] [ta] [ontods]> on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:44PM (#36518258)

      > So Microsoft starts using standards compliant HTML5 instead of Silverlight on their sites and you bash them for it? Seriously?

      No, we bash them for pushing one technology on their customers for the sake of getting them locked in, while internally they know those technologies suck and they use better stuff for themselves. The way Bing uses Hadoop is another example. And the way they're soon to be a big postgres shop (skype) yet another.

      They know what the right technologies are. But they keep selling their developers on other stuff.

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      Yup. It's simple - Silverlight has failed, and it is a mixed fault between the developers and Microsoft. Anyone targeting Silverlight at this point is an idiot - the writing is on the wall and it has been for a long time.

      Things that are Microsoft's fault - Not making clearer specs so third-party implementations (Moonlight) could maintain parity with Silverlight in terms of support, instead of lagging behind like Moonlight has. Moonlight has been a failure because it has never supported anything other tha

    • It is probably from a Linux user who thinks the Desktop still has a bright future too. Being that the desktop is the only Market where Microsoft Dominates, (Other markets Microsoft may lead, but with competition close behind where they can just run away with it), but in the rest of the industry Microsoft while a major player isn't as big as it use to be, and cannot survive with the Embrace, Extend, Extinguish anymore, they kinda need to play by the standards and do what the standards say.

      Silverlight "devel

    • by dskzero (960168)
      I honestly expected something slightly interesting, but seeing TFA stealthly bashing .NET I decided this wasn't worth my time, and instead, I typed a complain here.
    • I think the issue is not them dropping Silverlight per se, but them selling Silverlight to partners like the best thing since sliced bread for a few years, and then dropping it like hot potatoes when management at last realized that nobody wants Yet Another Plugin (tm), especially one that does not much but duplicate pre-existing plugins, only with an MS badge and less multiplatform support.

      Nobody ever really needed a competitor to Flash. We needed Flash to get better, and/or vanish. Not Flash Jr.

      • sorry, missed a cut and paste.

        All that why not really, frankly, appraising developpers of what the outlook for Silverlight is.

  • by Flyerman (1728812) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:21PM (#36517776) Journal

    Sure, it's stabbing their "Developers! Developers! Developers!" in the back, but isn't it a positive that they moving to more widespread technologies?

    • by DWMorse (1816016)

      stabbing their "Developers! Developers! Developers!" in the back

      They've simply updated their motto: "Die! Die! DIE!"

    • It isn't stabbing anybody in the back until they drop support for the platform.

      Responding to the market and building stuff that will work on the machines of your target market is called flexibility and responsiveness.

      If you can deliver a better experience with HTML5, then it makes sense to do it. Developers might look at this move and get the sense that it may (though in some cases maybe not) be wise for them to follow suit - not because Microsoft is dropping the platform, but because you can get better res

      • Re:Best option (Score:4, Informative)

        by RCGodward (1235102) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:21PM (#36518980)
        Indeed. Sometimes a better technology comes along. Let me toss you guys some top secret info... There will be another version of .NET, another version of Silverlight, and another version of WPF. Rest easy. It's not going anywhere.
        • by owlstead (636356)

          You call that resting easy? Because of Silverlight, I cannot see any live stream from many sites (e.g. Eurosport). Yes, I'm on Linux. No Linux is not supported, Moonlight for some reason never seems to be able to do streaming video, even though that is so far the only reason I've seen Silverlight being used *ever*. The faster it dies, the better.

    • It just makes me think they're up to something nefarious with HTML5. You know, embrace, extend, etc.?

  • Objectivity (Score:3, Informative)

    by AndOne (815855) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:23PM (#36517812)
    Whatever happened to posting stories that aren't filled with FUD and hate? Maybe HTML5 is more standards compliant and more widely available on other things... like say... Mobile devices... Which are probably one of the places many people would want to access the 'cloud' from. Or perhaps silverlight is too heavy for the task of being a portal UI... Whatever happened to using the right tool for the right job?
  • They don't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:24PM (#36517834) Homepage

    "How can Microsoft expect independent developers to base their future on Silverlight when Microsoft itself is abandoning it like a sinking ship?"

    They don't expect people to base their future on Silverlight. Why would anyone think that at this point?

    • by geoskd (321194)

      They don't expect people to base their future on Silverlight. Why would anyone think that at this point?

      Because a few years ago, MS was selling Silverlight to anyone they could convince. They told everyone Silverlight was the future, and many developers were dumb enough to believe them.

      What will be Microsoft's next Silverlight, and who will buy?

      -=Geoskd

  • Netflix (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gatzby3jr (809590) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:27PM (#36517900) Homepage

    Now all we need is Netflix to abandon Silverlight...

    • by NuShrike (561140)

      As soon as HTML5 has a DRM alternative for PCs. It's easier to control on embedded devices, on the other side.

      • by katz (36161)

        DRM, that's the kicker. Talk about HTML5 all we want--fact is, there still ain't a standard video type. I can see MS continuing to pull all sorts of nasty lock-in strategies even with open standards.

  • by LordStormes (1749242) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @03:32PM (#36518012) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is embracing a STANDARD that isn't tied to a closed language they invented. Oh, the horror. I know, it's terrible for coders that learned Silverlight. Once upon a time, I learned Pascal. I used it. It did stuff for me. And the industry moved on, and Pascal is useless to me now. It's not even on my resume, because it's pointless. We're sorry that the world's progress risks making the time you spent learning that language/tool obsolete. Please move on.

  • ...and I am happy to have been a [small] contributor to the outcome.

    You see, I have resisted installing Silverlight on my Windows machines whenever I would be prompted to have it installed.

    Microsoft must have gotten the message that Silverlight was not flying.

    Good, they 'smelled the coffee'. I would like to hear what Microsoft zealots have to say about this.

    • I do develop in silverlight and like it quite a bit. I think it is much easier to develop in than a web app any day. Sometimes the better technology does not always win the fight. We have to embrace was does win and go with it. Welcome back to the days of this app only works in browser X version Y.
      • by bogaboga (793279)

        I did not bother with Silverlight because I just could not keep up with the speed in technology. I have stuck with Java and like it over here.

        The presence of Android has made Java even more relevant no matter how one looks at it.

        The overall problem with Microsoft is this: They are trying to get into every business by 'locking users in'. People do not like this. With all these blogs saying lies about Microsoft, the company should change and do it fast.

        Here's my suggestion: Fire Steve Ballmer as an initial fi

  • Ooh, is this finally a thread in which Slashcode [slashcode.com] bashing isn't offtopic?

    What would you use to write slashcode in today if not mod_perl?

    Actually, are there any viable alternatives to javascript? Other than, you know, flash?

  • Get over it.

  • Well that explains a lot of the conditions you see with your stereotypical programmers (pale, unhealthy looking, bad smell). Why have they not considered the option of, you know, not eating anyone's dog food?
  • If I wrote a bitter submission to Slashdot every time a technology I learned and used became obsolete, this site would be called Tofinodot. Learn HTML5 and move on.
  • by dinther (738910) on Tuesday June 21, 2011 @04:53PM (#36519512) Homepage

    Microsoft did not realize the significance of TCP/IP when they released windows 95
    Microsoft rolled out their .net fat client platform still thinking fat clients is where it is at.
    Virtual Earth failed to compete with Google Earth
    Failed mobile phones
    Failed MP3 players

    Feel free to add to the long list.

    Siverlight is just a small blip because it did not get the uptake MS had hoped for. They do this all the time. They try to compete on all fronts and never excel anywhere. MS product path is littered with abandoned poorly executed ideas some of which might have made it if they only committed to it. I feel sorry for those software companies that put all their eggs in the MS basket because their .net codebase will in the not too distant future be obsolete too.

    It should be clear to everyone that operating systems are no longer significant. Running fat clients locally is no longer where it is at. PC's and Laptops are no longer the core device on which applications run. So the MS tax (Windows) on every PC will come to an end. MS is already far too late to change their direction with Windows and if MS doesn't get onto the web based bandwagon with MS Office quickly they will lose that profitable market as well.

    It is a pity but unavoidable that successful companies get too big and too slow to respond to changes. Although it is thanks to MS that computing has become so accessible to the masses. They failed to pay attention over the last decade and foolishly thought they could direct their market. Developers trusting anything that MS put out over the last 5 years will wish they had not, no matter the promised potential.

    Google was the new kid on the block with some amazing innovation but look closely at Google today and you can see the same warning signals. It is only a matter of time before the next company will take over from them.

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