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Microsoft Media

Microsoft Killing Silverlight? 324

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-Auf-wiedersehen-goodbye dept.
SharkLaser writes "Silverlight 5 might be last version released by Microsoft. Several industry insiders and partners for the last few weeks have heard from their own Microsoft sources that there won't be new versions released after Silverlight 5. Status on service packs and support for Silverlight is unclear, as Microsoft haven't yet released lifecycle support end date even for the previous Silverlight 4. By their support page they will give full year head-up before ending support. With Adobe ending development of Flash for mobile browsers and Microsoft ending development of Silverlight, HTML5 video looks a lot more promising. But will content providers be able to give out their material without DRM and how does HTML5 perform with non-video side of Flash and Silverlight?"
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Microsoft Killing Silverlight?

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  • And... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheP4st (1164315) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:29PM (#38003838)
    ...nothing of value were lost.
  • Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:31PM (#38003864)
    Doesn't Netflix use Silverlight for streaming? Will Netflix move to some other technology?
  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:35PM (#38003916)

    Flash and Silverlight represent the mid-1990s way of doing things with third party browser addons. Back when we needed crutches like these, they were useful. The leg has healed, though, so it's time to throw the crutches under a bus.

    Content producers should just suck up and use non-DRM video streams. They should all know by now that both Flash and Silverlight video "protections" have been circumvented just like Blu-Ray, DVD, etc and that there is really no technological recourse against this.

  • Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hortensia Patel (101296) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:37PM (#38003952)

    The idea that a general-purpose applet platform, with all the attendant security risks, is worth keeping simply to play DRM-encumbered video strikes me as utterly daft. It's like keeping a rabid rottweiler in your kid's playroom so that they'll have something to draw.

  • Re:Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:39PM (#38003990) Homepage

    Yup. Would anyone have installed Silverlight if it hadn't been for Netflix?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:48PM (#38004162)

    The streaming recorder works though, doesn't it? It's the "rubber hose" principle applied to Big Media - encrypt it all you want, but if you can see/hear it, you can copy it.

  • Re:Good riddance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:50PM (#38004208) Homepage Journal

    There are NO times I need DRM. And know what? DRM on VCRs just didn't work; I always copied tapes I rented, as well as Pay Per View.

  • Re:And... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by muon-catalyzed (2483394) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:51PM (#38004236)
    HTML5 will get crippled down soon over 'security considerations' just wait a few months... Flash was really a dangerous hybrid that allowed apps on the web, they do not want web apps eating your real paid apps lunch. This strangely binds all, Apple, Microsoft and even Adobe, pawing the way for the appstore only deliveries for software and securing their corporate cut.
  • Re:Netflix (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @03:58PM (#38004342)

    Except Adobe is clearly moving towards killing off flash. They've announced the death of mobile flash in favour of HTML5, and it seems likely that desktop flash will eventually follow.

    After all, it doesn't really matter to Adobe what runtime is used. They don't make money off people downloading the Flash runtime. They do make money off selling the flash designer software, which costs hundreds of dollars, and the streaming server solutions. What difference does it make if Adobe's software is spitting out stuff that runs in the flash runtime or HTML5?

    My concern is that HTML5 is clearly not up to the level where it has feature parity (or stability/consistency) with Flash or Silverlight. For example, HTML5 currently has no agreed upon standard for dynamic audio. Sure, it can play a sound or music file, but if you want to actually generate or process audio, that's impossible. Mozilla and WebKit both have their own proprietary competing APIs to do this, but neither is final yet, and certainly not a standard.

    Given a few years, HTML5 will probably be able to replace Flash/Silverlight, but clearly not yet!

  • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:02PM (#38004416) Journal

    Flash and Silverlight represent the mid-1990s way of doing things with third party browser addons. Back when we needed crutches like these, they were useful. The leg has healed, though, so it's time to throw the crutches under a bus.

    No. We never needed flash to play internet video. If you link to a video directly, it will play in your system's default video player.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:02PM (#38004422) Homepage

    I thought DRM was already a thing of the past. Who is still doing that?

  • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:03PM (#38004432)

    The idea that a general-purpose applet platform, with all the attendant security risks, is worth keeping simply to play DRM-encumbered video strikes me as utterly daft. It's like keeping a rabid rottweiler in your kid's playroom so that they'll have something to draw.

    Silverlight is not just for video. Nether is Flash.
    Silverlight's DRM can be harnessed by anyone seeking to make (get this!) secure applications.

    When it's something you don't understand, it's an "attendant security risk".
    When it's security that prevents you from stealing shit, it's DRM.

  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:06PM (#38004470)
    Just because it hasn't been cracked, it doesn't mean it's not crackable. At some point, the video must be decrypted and displayed to the user. Therefore, 100% bullet proof copy protection is impossible. The only way they can make DRM 100% full proof, is to encrypt it and throw away the key. At which point, you'll be watching random noise and listening to static.
  • by Alkonaut (604183) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:08PM (#38004498)

    Flash and Silverlight represent the mid-1990s way of doing things with third party browser addons. Back when we needed crutches like these, they were useful. The leg has healed, though, so it's time to throw the crutches under a bus.

    No. We never needed flash to play internet video. If you link to a video directly, it will play in your system's default video player.

    That's downloading a video file and playing it. That is the same as 1990's video. In 2011 I want to be able to seek in my video file (or watch live streams), I want autmatic adjustment of bitrate depending on my bandwidth, and whoever I'm downloading the video from want's to make sure I pay my subscription to watch this game. There are basically only a few technologies that handle this. And html5 isn't one of them.

  • Re:Netflix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Riceballsan (816702) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:21PM (#38004752)
    Which I have to consider the greatest idiocy ever IMO. Considering you know what is easier to download in the highest possible quality. The darn TV and DVD sources, that are available for download within an hour of the initial airing or DVD release at the latest, a few weeks to a month earlier if there is a leak. I will never understand the compulsion to need DRM and require the release to be weeks after the fact for most services, Why DRM something that already is available unDRMed on every torrent site known to man. Do they still think the main method of piracy is people copying the movies onto floppy-disks and handing them out to friends?
  • Re:Netflix (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oldlurker (2502506) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @04:52PM (#38005294)

    In this case that would be a step in the right direction. Flash is much more widely available than Silverlight is at present.

    Flash might be more widely available, but the Silverlight performance is clearly better, so it would be a step in the direction of lower video quality and higher processor and memory utilization.

    Wow. That would be about as bad as the VCR market adopting VHS over the vastly superiour quality of Betamax!

    Pet peeve. VHS did not win as result of marketing, or porn, and Betamax wasn't really a better product. As someone there at the time, the Betamax had somewhat better image quality, yes. Vastly is just going overboard, but partly depending on PAL or NTSC you did see it as somewhat better. But a video recorder that couldn't tape a full movie without you returning home from your dinner to turn the tape before leaving again is not a superior home video technology. And, another reason you would think Slashdot appreciated, VHS won because it was an open standard a myriad of manufactors freely adopted, Betamax wasn't - it was controlled and licensed at significant cost. Because of this obvious stronger consumer appeal, they got the content owners betting on them, including porn.

  • by zyzko (6739) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .neniakisa.irak.> on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:11PM (#38006204)

    I honestly can't see this as a big problem on Microsoft - they have quite a long track record of supporting their tools - even legacy Visual Basic skills can be used today quite effortlessly. Yes, they have had their misses and some tools or even languages (J++ comes to mind from the old days...) have been deprecated quite quickly after a blistering start but take a look around - there are frameworks and languages coming and going everywhere. If you want to bet safely learn C and C++ and code your own supporting libraries. Yes, it sucks when vendors pull plug on technology. But the days of learning Fortran or Visual Basic once and expecting to have guaranteed job for the rest of your life are over (well, if you are a true Fortran or VB genius you can get a nice paying job in maintenance these days...), And the same applies to OSS as well - they are not immune. Projects and languages come and go - yes, in the support side they are at an advantage because if you are a true guru you can dive into the source and support the platform - but I don't see the platform support as a huge issue on Microsoft side either. With right DLLs you can still run Win32 VB applications just fine - yes, the vendor doesn't support those anymore and doesn't develop new features but you still got what you have when you chose the platform.

    Can you give examples of Open Source projects (in programming) which Microsoft has tried to emulate and has ended up with barely working and sucking copy?

    Silverlight on web had really no big and bright future, it was just a poke on Adobe to steal marketshare on (DRM) video delivery. But those skills learned there are not totally wasted, it is not *that* hard to transform from one Microsoft architecture to another. But if your big bet was Silverlight on browsers (cross-platform/browser) then well, you are out of luck but it did not require a genius to figure that out from the start.

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