It looks like the question of Silverlight vs HTML 5 has been answered…at least for now. Silverlight 5 is planned for release in the first half of 2011.
To me, it seems that Silverlight 5 is what Silverlight 4 should have been in the first place. Silverlight 5 will provide improved WCF RIA Services, networking and WS-Trust security support. Silverlight 5 will also gives improved application performance, increased integration with local system resources (in and out of the browser), and GPU accelerated video decode which significantly reduces CPU load for HD video.
Was Silverlight 4 rushed just to make the Windows Phone 7 launch? Is this why Silverlight is not supported on Windows Phone 7 devices yet? While the timing of each Silverlight release is consistent, it still seems fishy.
With Silverlight adding to the feature stack, it now provides answers to scenarios it was previously unable to and is quickly gaining ground as a serious competitor to WPF for data-intense and business applications.
What about Microsoft and HTML 5? Based on Scott Guthrie’s blog post ‘Announcing Silverlight 5‘, the Silverlight team has beefed up its media capabilities. “We are seeing great adoption of Silverlight for premium media solutions. In the last few months we’ve seen companies like Canal+, TV2, and Maximum TV launch both live and on-demand Silverlight solutions.”
In my opinion, HTML 5 is behind Silverlight and will continue to be when it comes to rich content.