HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

Summary: Microsoft has opened registration, as of January 25, for its Mix '11 conference. It's looking like a Silverlight vs. HTML5 show-down could be in the cards.

SHARE:

Microsoft has opened registration, as of January 25, for its Mix '11 conference. And to keep things interesting, the company is allowing the community to vote on which sessions they'd like to see at the April Mix conference.

Microsoft posted today a "best of the best" list to the Mix '11 site, and is requesting that anyone with an interest (not just Mix attendees or wannabes) vote for their top ten external sessions. Voting closes on February 4.

When perusing the proposals, I couldn't help but notice the split -- which first became apparent at last year's Mix conference -- between Microsoft's Silverlight vs. its HTML proponents.

Update: Yes -- as a number of readers have noted (thanks!), these are sessions proposed by non-Softies for inclusion alongside the Microsoft sessions. But the politics are still interesting to me....

Some in Redmond (notably, the Windows and Internet Explorer teams) are putting their mouths and muscle behind HTML5, not Silverlight. Looks like some of the community are backing their play. Check out this Mix '11 session proposal:

HTML5 and CSS3: The Future of the Web Jacob J Sanford

If you develop web applications but haven't started looking at HTML5 and CSS3, it's time. These technologies are going to change the way web applications work in the future. Things that you used to have to use SilverLight, Flash, or custom/dynamic images for, you can now do with a single line of code. Come see what's coming down the pipe, what browsers support the changes, and what you should be getting excited about. (Emphasis mine)

Microsoft's Developer Division and other varied teams, aren't throwing in the towel, however. This Mix '11 proposal shows some outside community members agree:

Semantic Web with Silverlight Rajesh Lal

Learn how Silverlight is the only tool which can provide the key ingredients for Semantic Web, the best possible performance, richest user interface, most widespread reach, hardware support, and privacy, and how it will always be better than HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript combined. Know how Silverlight distinguishes itself by delivering pixel perfect interface, 3D animations, live camera support, XML and REST based Web services, next generation Media, RIA services and cross platform support and how it is already making the vision of Semantic Web true today. (Emphasis mine)

It's not just going to be a Silverlight vs. HTML5 face-off in Las Vegas in mid-April, however. There are plenty of other Windows Phone, Azure and Surface 2.0 app-dev proposals on the tentative session list.

The keynoters for this year's Mix conference are Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of the .Net Developer Platform, and Joe Belfiore, the head of Windows Phone Program Management. Many of us Microsoft watchers are expecting Microsoft to roll out at Mix '11 a beta of Silverlight 5, as well as a possible final version of the HTML5-supporting Internet Explorer 9 -- just to keep that Silverlight-HTML5 rivalry alive and well ....

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Software Development

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

28 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

    Hard to take someone serious who spells Silverlight with a capital L. Anyone who thinks HTML5 will replace Silverlight or Flash in all situations is deluded. It is awesome for video, and very welcomed there, but building massive custom touch based apps in HTML/CSS/JS isn't a good use of time and resources. I'm not saying it's not feasible in many cases, it just isn't practicle at all. Who wants to build the same site 20x for every browser and browser version? Especially with mobile browsers and relative versions exploding the browser base even more today.
    SmartyP
    • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

      @SmartyP : You had me going there for a minute until I read the word Practicle ;) - There will be sparks, no doubt... like BetaMax and VHS.
      timebridge@...
    • Html5 is like NY Jets on Sunday

      ... talking all that smack only to soon be crushed by the SilverLight 18-wheeler barreling down the street showing what true APP development is about.
      LBiege
    • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

      @SmartyP,<br><br>My thoughts, "Right tool for the right job". There will always be a trade off with Silverlight and Flash plugins and HTML or HTML5. The trade off is rich vs reach. Since proprietary standards don't need to garner consensus from a huge governance, progress will come quicker. This will result in those technologies always being ahead of the curve, from a feature perspective. The consensus from standards like HTML and HTML5 have their own merits, which means more browsers on more devices will be able actually render the content.
      bmonsterman
      • User just want content to work!

        @bmonsterman <br>I think in the end user's just want their content to work with their browser. How that is accomplished most probably don't care.
        jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
  • All you need to know about HTML vs Plugins

    Plugins like Silverlight and Flash blaze a trail.
    Standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript pave the trail.

    Pushing both aspects of web development doesn't show a dichotomy within Microsoft but rather shows that they understand that both platforms are required by developers with different needs.

    Standards don't innovate, they only codify what already exists.
    mikefarinha
    • It will be a while before Netflix agrees

      Netflix is really getting old, they need to get rid of Silverlight. They invested money on it, great, but as a consumer I have been finding alternatives elsewhere. There is less reason to give them my money.
      Uralbas
      • How must the MCSD feel today?

        Dumped by MS with their flash ripoff. How's those years of convincing management Silverlight was the future! ROFL;-)<br><br>The MCSD looks as silly as the MSCE does today, surrounded by ABM device omnipresence in every executive meeting.<br><br>No such problem for those of us pushing Java EE + HTML 5 (or Flex when it was relevant).<br><br>Another NonZealot post about the non-existence of HTML 5?
        Richard Flude
  • Wow. Noticed this list is a bit larger than last time I saw it.

    Couple of HTML5 sessions here and there. There appears to be quite a bit of sessions dealing with Silverlight too which is nice. I have my eyes set on SL5. I really would like to see this latest version in action.
    mibjr
  • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

    Jacob J Sanford doesn't event know how to spell 'Silverlight' :(
    ibmec
  • It should be really simple.

    HTML5 for standardised, cross platform, interchangable content. Silverlight as the UI technology for cross Windows applications (not cross browser) which allow users to locally manipulate that content in myriad ways. And where HTML5 falls short, Silverlight for better visualisation of that content including obviating browser page loading.
    rmac_z
    • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

      @rmac_z :

      Agree with you Marc more on the Silverlight perspective and less on the HTMLx postion.

      HTMLx has it's place but not and nor should everything be built with HTML.

      A browser is a terrible platform to build anything on and HTMLx is just basically lame (where x can be any version, past, present or future).

      For example - when you happen to mouse from your Silverlight app to the task bar and happen to float over the background html page in the background browser and the browser somehow thinks it has a turn at focus......or the less than 90% success rate in UnLoad....

      Since the day I first saw HTML in '95 I have been continuously run over by the lemmingz.
      . . . . :}
      zddownloader
  • Aren't these third-party sessions?

    They've been promoting their open call for awhile now. Aren't these just the sessions that were submitted by others that are now open for voting? I don't see how this would indicate anything about what Microsoft plans for the event.
    MarGough
  • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

    To be very clear, these sessions aren't from Microsoft or Microsoft employees. We've always had a tradition at MIX of giving the developer community a chance to submit sessions that they'd like to present. But nobody should draw a conclusion from any community session submission that it represents the position of Microsoft on that topic.

    If you want to hear how Microsoft describes the (rosy) future of both Silverlight and HTML5, Steve Ballmer presents an authoritative source: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/steve-ballmer-says-html-5-future

    Best wishes,
    Tim Sneath | Microsoft Corp.
    timsneath
    • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

      "But nobody should draw a conclusion from any community session submission that it represents the position of Microsoft on that topic."

      Or, that those sessions listed will even make the cut of the final list of sessions to be presented at MIX. Which I am assuming is ultimately up to Microsoft with some consideration given to votes from the developer community.
      windowseat
  • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

    It would appear that Bruce Buffer will be called upon to introduce the first keynote.
    John Baxter
  • Microsoft Mix...

    ...as in Mix-ed up and confused? Yeah, sounds right.
    james347
  • Microsoft's lacking direction.

    Seriously, whoever *cough* those two teams report to is doing a really bad job managing them.

    I'd choose Silverlight over HTML if I had a choice, but come on -- the Web is the Web, and it's a huge frickin' mess.

    Promote Silverlight on mobile devices and other platforms where HTML's crappiness is more obvious. Give up on the Web.
    reinux
  • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

    I find it interesting that ZDNet put out a topic about Mix'11 in this fashion. It's true that HTML 5 is maturing well and we should be able to do a lot with it. But when it comes to video, HTML 5 still has a long way to go. Support for adaptive streaming, live broadcasts and DVR support are examples where Silverlight has an edge. This is not like a switch that you turn on/off and move from one technology to another. Pitting one against the other seems incorrect to me and one should look at the desired solution and pick the technology appropriately. The comment about Netflix got me confused - it its fine if someone wants to look at alternatives, but if they are looking at alternatives because of Silverlight adoption - wow!
    dharmeshsampat@...
    • RE: HTML5, Silverlight sessions face off at Microsoft Mix '11 conference

      @dharmeshsampat@... Only idiots do things like that. He hates Microsoft so much he wont use Netflix because it uses Microsoft's technology to play movie. wow!
      FlatbushE21