HTML 5 vs Silverlight 5, A Deep Dive From Microsoft

David Catuhe from Microsoft today posted a HTML5 and Silverlight 5 comparison post. The post covers mostly on all the developer aspects of both the platforms. Microsoft also shared the stats from which shows Silverlight 4 is installed on 73% of PC’s and HTML5 in 75% of PC’s. BTW, its important to note that HTML5 varies from browser to browser. Take a look at the table below to see how HTML5 and Silverlight 5 stand against each other.

HTML vs XAML – ExtensibilitySilverlight
HTML vs XAML – DOM accessDraw game
HTML vs XAML – Code/Tag separationDraw game
Languages – DevelopmentSilverlight
Languages – PerformancesHTML
SVG vs ShapesDraw game
Canvas vs WriteableBitmap – FunctionalitiesDraw game
Canvas vs WriteableBitmap – PixelsPerformancesDraw game
Canvas vs WriteableBitmap – Shapes PerformancesDraw game
BrushesDraw game
LayoutDraw game
Web workers vs System.ThreadingSilverlight
AnimationsDraw game
Web Requests & Web Services – Web requestsDraw game
Web Requests & Web Services – Web servicesSilverlight
Media (Audio & Video)Silverlight
Isolated storageDraw game
WebSockets vs System.Net.SocketsSilverlight
Devices (cameras, microphones & printers)Silverlight
Quiclky evolving technologySilverlight
Portability Windows / Mac OSSilverlight
Portability iOS/AndroïdHTML
Intellectual property protectionSlightly advantage to Silverlight

For more detailed explanation on each of the aspects compared above, visit this blog.

  • Shawn Burke

    Dear Apple,
    Some of us like flash and we like Silverlight.  How about getting on board with the rest of the internet?
    Remember when you bitched like a whining girl because Microsoft wasn’t open to standards?  Pretty funny you did the same thing as soon as you had the power.


  • Ashley Sheridan

    Silverlight isn’t fully supported on as many platforms as Flash, which is a limiting problem with the software. Mac OS and Linux are stuck with plugins that are not as up-to-date as their Windows counterparts, and mobiles are left in the dark as well, although that’s mostly reflected by the state of Flash on mobiles too.

    HTML5 does offer a solution to either accompany or replace the gaps left by the proprietary plugins, although it doesn’t offer all the features that either Silverlight or Flash does. Offering something in HTML5 to the people who don’t have the plugins is better than the kick in the face that a lot of people leave in the form of an upgrade your browser/OS message.

    I would still always go the HTML5 route, as it’s available on a wide variety of platforms, and it’s easy to offer a nice fallback solution with minimal effort, which isn’t possible with Flash or Silverlight. Trying to offer a replacement for either of those still requires you to build the app/site/etc in HTML anyway, defeating the point somewhat of not developing in that to start with.

  • DevTopics

    Nice analysis, but the problem with this chart is it only shows PCs. The next generation is all about mobile and tablets, and Silverlight would only show up as a sliver in the pie chart for those platforms.

  • Hdolder

    Can one theory explain all things MS is saying ? I propose the following “Standard Model”:MS is …* Replacing DirectX with the HTML5 Rendering Engine.* Replacing MSIL with Javascript.* Implementing Silverlight/WPF in a layer on top of HTML5 (not side-by-side with HTML5).* Viewing the HTML5 Browsers as “Plugins” for the different Operating Systems and adding also Out-of-Browser (OOB) functionality for each OS.Can you imagine the results ?