I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and with the announcement on feature set for Silverlight 3 it seems that there is a critical mass of functionality there to make me ask who needs WPF? It seems to me that Silverlight 3 and probably 4 will have much more appeal than WPF for lot of developers.

Why do I think that? Well with Silverlight 3.0 you get out-of browser support which means that your apps can run as native stand-alone applications. You get auto-update support, online offline support etc.

But that’s not where the meat is. The Silverlight runs on Mac and PC (future on Linux too). It does not require .NET Framework to be installed at all. It will have hardware supported acceleration for graphics and it is about 4.5 MB in size.

.NET Framework 3.5 is whooping 231.5 MB, it runs only on Windows XP and later only. No Mac, no Linux. Deployment is not nearly as easy as Silverlight.

Sure, WPF is much more powerful, but for lot of developers simpler, smaller Silverlight might have more appeal and it runs easily in browsers.

The saving grace for WPF right now is that Visual Studio 2010 is using it which is big… We at DevComponents support WPF as well so that’s big too 😉

We really like WPF, but I am wondering at which point Silverlight will displace WPF… Or perhaps at which point these two will merge, which is what I think we will end up with.

What do you think?

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