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Microsoft: Speak up about Silverlight in Windows 8

Talking about Windows 8 last week and work on apps for the platform, Microsoft stayed mum about Silverlight. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says the silence can only hurt.

Windows 8 in action.
Windows 8 in action. Microsoft

After Microsoft unveiled details on Windows 8 development last week, developers quickly realized that Silverlight had been left out of the discussion. And that was proving worrisome.

And now, Mary Jo Foley from our sister site ZDNet is urging Microsoft to make sure the platform comes back into the discussion, and soon.

At issue is Microsoft's upcoming handling of app development for the application marketplace in Windows 8. Foley says that by staying mum on Silverlight in connection with work on "immersive apps," Microsoft has caused some to wonder whether the platform will be supported. But Foley says, citing sources, "Microsoft is still going to support Silverlight with Windows 8, and not only as a browser plug-in."

Foley continues, citing anonymous sources:

It definitely seems Microsoft's ultimate goal is to wean developers off Silverlight and to convince them to use HTML5 and JavaScript to write new apps for Windows, going forward. But until there's better tooling for HTML5 (beyond what Microsoft provides via the F12 HTML tools in Internet Explorer), it seems the Softies are going to support .Net and Silverlight via new versions of Visual Studio, the .Net Framework and Expression."

Ultimately, she says, Microsoft wants to be able to make it easier for developers to create a single application and port it over to Windows, and Silverlight is potentially standing in the way of making that happen. But Silverlight and .Net are still important pieces of the Windows development pie. And dumping it now could sound alarms across the Windows development landscape.

Microsoft said last week that it will talk in more detail about Windows 8 development in September. But as Foley points out, "Microsoft can't afford to wait three more months to let its developer base know what its intentions are."

Click here to read more on Foley's findings on Silverlight and Windows 8.