Cross-Platform Development kit for interactive applications

Microsoft SilverlightMicrosoft Silverlight is a development kit for writing and executing Web pages and applications similar to Adobe Flash. Silverlight allows creating vector-based graphics, multimedia, and 2D animation. Furthermore, the development kit supports CLI languages and a large number of development tools. Unfortunately, even though Silverlight has been developed by Microsoft, web pages relying on its use do not run on Windows phones. The drawback also involves mobile versions of Internet Explorer because there is no plugin for the mobile version of the browser.

Note that in 2013, Microsoft announced its plans to discontinue the support of Silverlight by 2021. Therefore, the company encourages its users to switch to HTML5-based playback. Netflix that had been a long-time user of Silverlight has already transitioned to HTML5 playback systems.

If you are still planning to use Silverlight until the discontinuation of its support by Microsoft, you should know some of its key advantages and disadvantages. The main benefits are promising performance, the execution of .NET code with the deployment of the runtime itself, and the direct XAML interpretation. It is also worth mentioning that Silverlight supports Visual Studio and command-line compilation.

There are also a few drawbacks to using Silverlight that cannot be dismissed. The first and the most obvious disadvantage is the end of support for the application framework. The second one is the proprietary nature of the framework. The third downside of using Silverlight is that it can only be deployed for browsers. And the last but not least is the necessity to develop on Windows-based machines, which is a major inconvenience for Mac owners.

Version: 5.1.50901.0

Latest updates:

  • Security update addressing the information disclosure issue

Price: Free

Developer: Microsoft


  • Intel
  • OS X 10.6 or later
  • Firefox 12 or later, Safari 4 or later