The Silverlight penetration is no longer an issue

23 Jan

From the very beginning of Silverlight penetration has been an issue. As a professional developer living of Silverlight and as a Silverlight MVP, I often face questions about the Silverlight penetration from customers.

Some facts: The Flash plug-in is installed on almost 97 percent of all computers whereas the Silverlight plug-in is installed on about 70 percent of all computers.

Silverlight is primarily used to create enterprise components, tools and sites. If you take a look at the tools used to create Flash versus Silverlight (Visual Studio + Expression Studio) there is no doubt Silverlight are miles ahead of Flash. If you look at the advantages of being able to reuse existing resources and knowledge (.NET and Visual Studio) from an enterprise perspective Silverlight will beat Flash any day of the week.

In my opinion, the penetration of Silverlight has now reached a level where it’s no longer a barrier for enterprises to use Silverlight – even on public faced websites. The many advances of Silverlight will overshadow the lower penetration compared to Flash.

by xamlgeek

10 Responses to “The Silverlight penetration is no longer an issue”

  1. Frank November 30, 1999 at 01:00 #

    I add that Flash 10.1 and Silverlight 4 have quite the same market Share.

    Silverlight is for exceptional graphics and layout even for public webites. Html + Jquery + Css are limited, expecially in animations.

    I use Silverlight 4 for web based games too where Javascript have no tools and its very slow.
    With Silverlight 5 we will have real 3D too and the game will change in favour of SL expecially for 3D browser games.

    Glad that muglia was fired too, he damaged a lot the silverlight community 3 month ago.

  2. ElectricSpring November 30, 1999 at 01:00 #

    I think silverlight is a GREAT product.
    Penetration rate is getting near accettable.
    What I would like to see more are great project made on top on it as it has such a huge pontential

  3. Jakob Andersen January 24, 2011 at 00:04 #

    I simply don’t agree. Penetration of 70% is not good if you need it for centric parts of a SaaS business solution, the amount of support you have to perform to people having to install silverlight in bureaucratic organizations is just to much. And typically the restrictions on allowed software is much more worse when we speak about “the enterprise” where you say silverlight is primarily used.

    Furthermore the statement:

    “If you take a look at the tools used to create Flash versus Silverlight (Visual Studio + Expression Studio) there is no doubt Silverlight are miles ahead of Flash.”

    Is pretty subjective and still I find that its really odd that you leave out talking about Flex which has a pretty cool Eclipse based IDE and with this in mind we are back to the VS.NET vs. Eclipse battle which again is higly subjective.

    And you also state:

    “the advantages of being able to reuse existing resources and knowledge (.NET and Visual Studio) from an enterprise perspective Silverlight will beat Flash any day of the week.”

    There are a lot of Actionscript and people with Javascript competences out there already that can utilize their existing skills in Flash and Flex both on the Web and on the desktop they can even utilize their HTML/Javascript comptences using Adobe AIR.

    I like silverlight, but you have to give me better arguments than the above for praising silverlight as a supreme alternative to Adobe Flash/Flex. And don’t even get me started on HTML5.

  4. Thomas January 24, 2011 at 00:44 #

    I have used both Flex and Silverlight, and there is not doubt that Silverlight is far superior.

    The tools and .net ecosystem are much much better than the Adobe offering.

    Most of my work includes Silverlight development, but I do not agree that Silverlight (or Flex) should be used on public faced websites.

    Silverlight should be used for “Web Applications” where as HTML should be used for normal Web Sites.

    A “Web Application” is a complex Line Of Business App, typically accessed via the internet or intranet.
    The user/organization will typically pay for a “Web Application”

    Silverlight are not competing against HTML (and never will). Silverlight is taking over the market for complex Applications. These are normally developed in technologies such as Windows Forms, MFC, Delphi etc.

    In the old days, these Applications was intranet only. But today most business require that these application can be access over the internet as well.


  5. Thomas Martinsen January 24, 2011 at 08:23 #

    I’m not saying that Silverlight supreme alternative to Adobe Flash/Flex.

    What I’m trying to make clear is the fact that the penetration of the Silverlight plug-in have reached a level where it (together with the strong tooling support) in most cases no longer can be used as an argument to turn it down.

    I’m not saying that Silverlight should be used in every scenario – that would be a big mistake. Silverlight got some forces in media- and line-of-business solutions and it’s within these areas that Silverlight should be looked at as an alternative to existing technologies.

    I agree that on public faced websites it’s often better to choose HTML over Silverlight – but I still think that Silverlight can be used to build components (eg charts) used on public faced websites.

  6. Fallon Massey January 25, 2011 at 03:09 #

    Simply put, 70% just gets you into the conversation, there’s a long way to go.

    For the enterprise, and for administration apps, 70% is over kill, because we can mandate whatever we want.

    However, 70% for customer facing apps on the internet, is WAY too small to be considered a viable product.

    If you look at the flip side of your argument, that means that you’re giving up on 30% of possible customers.

    What’s even worse is if you bother to look beneath the numbers, you’ll find that in the United States, the percentage is a lot lower.

    Silverlight is far superior to flash, HTML5/JS/CSS, and just about anything else, but it’s not internet ready yet, IMO.

  7. André Werlang February 10, 2011 at 18:34 #

    Do you believe Silverlight has strengh to survive 5 years from here?

    • Thomas Martinsen February 10, 2011 at 19:57 #

      I believe that Silverlight has proven that it is a solid technology. Many enterprise have used Silverlight as frontend to their solutions – and with great success.

      Nothing indicates that Microsoft is reducing their support to Silverlight – quite the contrary – Microsoft is using Silverlight in several of their own solutions.

      I have no doubt that Silverlight will be a significant technology in 5 years. At that time Silverlight and WPF will probably have merged into one product and Silverlight will be used to build many types of applications: in the browser as well as on the desktop and on smart phones – maybe even in smart cars?!

      In 5 years HTML 5 will (hopefully!) have got some impact on the internet and affected the way we develop websites. HTML 5 will do what it does best – run websites to a broad audience.

      • André Werlang February 11, 2011 at 01:15 #

        Hi Thomas.

        I’ve only seen a supporting site for Microsoft Partner Network developped with SL. For MS products, we see HTML-based solutions, like the new CRM. My bosses would like to see other MS solutions with SL, could you refer to some?

        I wait for the next release, with support for PostScript, current print support is a shame. I’d like to see some support in Android, but iOS we know for sure SL won’t make its way. Also, MS told us their strategy has shift, and that was quite clear.



  1. Tweets that mention The Silverlight penetration is no longer an issue « xamlgeek -- - January 24, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Thomas Martinsen, Mariano Ravinale. Mariano Ravinale said: RT @thomasmartinsen: The Silverlight penetration is no longer an issue: […]

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