back to article Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

Microsoft is encouraging companies that use its Silverlight media format on their web pages to dump the tech in favor of newer, HTML5-based media playback systems. "The commercial media industry is undergoing a major transition as content providers move away from proprietary web plug-in based delivery mechanisms (such as Flash …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This helps with the embedding video with HTML5:

    ...and this helps to convert to the 3 formats you need to cover all browsers:

    1. Mike Bell

      What would have helped you would have been a proper comment editor that allows you to format and embed links without resorting to HTML. Come on, El Reg, it's not that hard to implement!

      1. VinceH

        Handy tip if you are using Firefox - which may work on other browsers as well:

        Triple click on the URL. It recognises it as a URL, so you can then right click -> open link in new tab. Quicker quicker than messing around copying it, then opening a new tab and pasting into the URL field - but, yeah, El Reg automatically recognising links in comments would be handy.

        1. VinceH

          However (as I've only now realised) the triple click doesn't just select the URL if it's part of a paragraph - in that case, select it with a click and drag.

          1. Hans 1

            Chrome users just right-click the URL and select "Open in new tab" ...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Come on, El Reg, it's not that hard to implement!"

        It's an anti-spam measure. For the same reason commentards can't post HTML at all initially, and then only a small subset. The more posts you make the more HTML you get to use. And as an IT/technical website, commentards are expected to be able to cope with a little manual HTML if they think their comments deserve it.

        "You can add hyperlinks in your post - once you have had 100 posts accepted for publication. We have set the bar high to deter spammers and enable us to assess use. We will review this bar from time to time."

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge


          There are all sorts of IT related folk reading and commenting on here.

          We all do different sorts of jobs, and have different ranges of skills.

          But we really shouldn't be too shocked to be asked to stick in a few tags to get special effects. Or to wait until we graduate a bit and establish we are not just spamming/trolling.

          And I notice that plenty of (non tecchie) sites either don't have formatting. Or do have it but for most contributors it isn't actually used.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Mike Bell

            Yes, yes, yes. Any twat with minimal understanding can write a few HTML tags. But it's freakin tedious, especially if you happen to be using a virtual keyboard at the time. Nothing to stop you adding convenient formatting buttons and blocking – where you deem relevant – the subsequent HTML. It's not exactly rocket science, and is widely used on message boards.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I didn't link them up mostly because I just couldn't be arsed. Also as this is a tech forum with a higher-than-normal paranoia ratio people can see the text and know that they're not being interfered with, with a dodgy link.

              Also anyone who is contemplating video embedding using HTML5 is probably capable of highlighting the link and hitting CTRL C-T-V (or whatever the equivalent in your browser is).

              To be completely honest, I didn't really consider mobile users because it's not the sort of operation that you would do from a phone if you have any choice in the matter.

              I aim to please, however so:

              Chunk of code that will drop the 3 video formats into the appropriate browser seamlessly and also offers downloads for those with older browsers

              A free conversion thing that works on Win/Mac to generate your 3 video flavours

  2. shifty_powers


    "Microsoft said it will continue to support Silverlight for out-of-browser applications for the dozen or so of you who are using it for that purpose"

    Try the several thousand mental health professionals in London NHS Trusts whom use RiO, provided by BT and running on Silverlight in IE. It's the unholy trinity I tell you! (And I'm sure there are plenty more as well). The mind boggles, it really does...

    1. Zacherynuk

      Re: NHS

      "provided by BT and running on Silverlight in IE"


      Beer, because you need it.

      1. Captain Queeg

        Re: NHS

        So, so, funny - have an upvote Sir!

    2. Antonymous Coward

      Re: NHS

      Expect they had the very best (most expensive) "consultants" in to cook up that little nasty.

      Kill it. Kill it with fire --->

      ("It" being "RiO" not the NHS, obvs)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NHS

      Sounds like those mental health professionals need their head examining.


    4. James Cane

      Re: NHS

      I'm just trying to imagine the meeting where they decided that getting BT to write critical NHS software was a smart move. Maybe they'd already started on that beer.

    5. Phil W

      Re: NHS

      "Microsoft said it will continue to support Silverlight for out-of-browser applications for the dozen or so of you who are using it for that purpose"

      "Try the several thousand mental health professionals in London NHS Trusts whom use RiO, provided by BT and running on Silverlight in IE."

      Maybe I'm missing something here but surely using Silverlight in IE doesn't qualify as an "out-of-browser application"?

    6. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: NHS

      RIO. Ah. Not just mental health then.

      I worked alongside other NHS teams, particularity Speech and Language Therapists.

      I never needed to go near their IT ( nor would any Non-NHS person have been allowed to).

      But I do know that RIO was their lives. Every sodding minute of the day had to accounted for in Rio.

      Everything had to go through this RIO.

      [Keyboard icon for the amount of time they spend banging stuff out on theirs.]

    7. arctic_haze

      Re: NHS

      I long suspected that mental health is somehow correlated with using Silverlight.

  3. Hetz Ben Hamo

    Tell that to Amazon

    They still only support Flash or Silverlight!

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Tell that to Amazon

      And thus there's a reason I buy from Apple instead of Amazon. The good news for this story is that Netflix is actually officially supporting Linux with Chrome now. I might actually buy a subscription now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tell that to Amazon

        Tell that to Twitch and the BBC...

      2. Rick Giles

        Re: Tell that to Amazon

        Netflix is actually officially supporting Linux with Chrome now

        And they still suck because they don't support MY browser of choice on that magnificent OS, Lynx Firefox...

    2. Duffy Moon

      Re: Tell that to Amazon

      I had a trial of Amazon Prime and it wanted me to watch videos on Silverlight (which didn't work) or Flash (which did, but the quality was appalling). Do people actually cough up for that terrible service?!

      I wouldn't subscribe to any video service which didn't let me use my own player (MPC-HC configured exactly how I want) or at least a player as good (with all the settings to tweak).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Tell that to Amazon

        >I wouldn't subscribe to any video service which didn't let me use my own player

        And I won't visit any cafe that doesn't let me take a bite out of every piece of cake while only buying one per month.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Terrible analogy which demonstrates that you missed his point entirely.

          A better one would be you don't visit any cafe that won't allow you to eat the cake you buy on your own plate that you bring.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            You to Netflix: I want to pay $8 a month but I want to be able to keep any movie for as long as I want and share it with all my friends - so no protection please.

            Netflix to studio: We want to pay for the rights to show a certain movie in a certain market for a certain time. But we are going to let all our customers download and keep it and share it with everyone else on the net - that won't cost us any more will it ?

          2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            @Pascal: You forgot to mention that the cafe's own crockery is so filthy that you might catch something off it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some Canon cameras utilities rely on Silverlight...

    ... hope this teach their developers to avoid such technologies and use the OS instead... but I'm afraid they'll found some other silliness...

  5. Only me!


    Will someone please tell Eurosport "Le Tour" starts soon!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Richard 22

      Re: Eurosport

      ITV4 FTW (if you're in the UK). Eurosport cycling commentary is crap and their online player is even worse than the ITV one, if they even bother to put all the stages on it (I missed half the Giro due to them not putting all the stages on their eurosport player).

  6. SteveCarr

    Try telling LightBox (Spark NZ) this!

    I use Chrome, Chrome hates Silverlight..... something needs to change!

    1. Rick Giles

      Re: Try telling LightBox (Spark NZ) this!

      I use Chrome, Chrome hates Silverlight..... something needs to change!

      Stop giving Google your life and don't use Chrome.

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge


    Newish PC.

    I knew there was more stuff to uninstall.

    Had forgotten that one.

  8. Timbo 1

    Does that include the Service Manager web portal?

    Seem to recall Service Manager uses Silverlight for it, right up to the 2012R2 revision.

  9. petef

    I thought that Silverlight was Microsoft's solution to delivering rich internet applications. So it's just a platform for showing video then. Meh.

  10. AskJarv

    Sky Go

    I think Sky Go is still based on Silverlight to support all their zany DRM - I can't wait to see this get phased out (Chrome went into the unsupported list because they blocked the silverlight plugin).

    1. I Like Heckling Silver badge

      Re: Sky Go

      Yup... Sky Go does indeed still use silverlight, and still has repeated problems using it... and they wanted to charge me an extra £5 a month to be able to use it on more than 2 devices. I told the customer service rep quite bluntly... why would I pay for something that doesn't work properly... or does paying the money suddenly fix it?

      She couldn't answer that.

      This is one of the reasons I dropped Sky TV just over a year ago... I still have broadband and phone, but the TV service was a joke considering the cost.

      Instead I use the spare device for Sky Go from my folks (I only use it for the F1, as I haven't watched broadcast TV for years and Freeview HD is sufficient).... tempted to add multi room to them and get it all back for a quarter of the cost... after all, I would never plug in a sky box to the phone or broadband.

      1. mrfill

        Re: Sky Go

        BT Sport also uses Silvershite. If they have to change it'll be another excuse to bump up the price.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's actually ok

    I use it daily because Netflix for Windows Media Center uses it. Considering it supports DRM and unlike that turd Flash, actually has a good hit rate of using hardware acceleration on most graphics cards I'm surprised it's not less unpopular. Yes, I know linux something something, DRM blah blah. Don't care, it works for me.

  12. Terafirma-NZ

    keep going

    This is good! Now provide an update to SharePoint to remove the Silverlight player then ensure that Java/Flash/Silverlight never run on Edge and together with Chrome we can push this evil back to Hell maybe even send some of those Government/Banking consultants who always recommend it with the mess.

  13. Mephistro

    At last, Microsoft giving good advice to their customers!

    Please allow me to misquote W. Churchill:

    "You can always count on Microsoft to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else."


    1. Arctic fox

      Re: "At last, Microsoft giving good advice to their customers!" Indeed, when I.......... the following:

      ""The commercial media industry is undergoing a major transition as content providers move away from proprietary web plug-in based delivery mechanisms (such as Flash or Silverlight), and replace them with unified plug-in free video players that are based on HTML5 specifications and commercial media encoding capabilities," the software giant said in a Thursday blog post." reminded me of the old quote from Luke

      "There is more joy in heaven at one sinner that repenteth than in nine and nine just men"!

  14. JulieM Silver badge


    Just as I was getting Pipelight working, as well .....

    Icon = Best way to make sense of it all.

  15. mr. deadlift

    if you're on netflix, you're ganna have a bad time.

    no 1080 for you!

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: if you're on netflix, you're ganna have a bad time.

      Since when? My TV gets 4K Netflix.

  16. JLV

    Good boy, MS, good boy

    Now, if our favorite broadcasters would just dump Flash video as well...

    Looking at you, BBC, CBC. Especially daft when you see 'install Flash' on a mobile that doesn't support Flash %-((

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft recommending standards?

    It's not April yet, is it?

  18. T. F. M. Reader

    From the article

    "Microsoft Edge, the new browser that will ship with Windows 10, was designed not to support plugins from the get-go."

    So no AB+, no Ghostery, no BetterPrivacy, etc.? Hmm... I see...

    1. Havin_it

      Re: From the article

      Well, did you really think there would be?

      Also, those (in Firefox-land at least, can't speak for the rest) are XUL extensions, not native plugins, meaning they can't cause any nastiness outside the browser itself. (Er, unless they can abuse one of the zillions of features the browser added to replace plugins ...)

  19. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Dear MS, Please put your own house in order

    And stop nagging me to install Slitherin (Silverlight) on my systems. It seems that no matter what I do it keeps coming back as a 'optional update'.

    I wonder if we tell Cortana to go F**k Silverlight in Windows 10 what will happen?

    Will it respond with the oblig 'I'm sorry Dave I can't do that'?

    See Icon for what I'd like to do to Silverlight AND Flash.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Dear MS, Please put your own house in order

      I can't remember where I found it (so don't blame be), but drop these in a batch file - it works for me:

      reg delete HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Silverlight /f

      reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f

      reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f

      reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{283C8576-0726-4DBC-9609-3F855162009A} /f

      reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\install.exe /f

      reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl /f

      reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl.5.1 /f

      reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{89F4137D-6C26-4A84-BDB8-2E5A4BB71E00} /f

      rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Silverlight"

      rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Silverlight"

      Normal disclaimers apply: i.e. use at your own risk, do not apply to first born children, it's not my fault if your system goes up in smoke and triggers the apocalypse, yada yada yada.

      You may have to reformat the lines depending on El Reg, and your browser. If you can't do this you probably shouldn't be running them in the first place. I think after this you just need to tell Windows Update exactly where to go with the Silverlight "essential" install and that's it. If some cretinous app installs Silverlight on you, you can re-run these commands (and break the app, no doubt).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    quelle surprise

    I saw Silverlight launched, thought "f*ck that! another MS me-too that will not last".

    Never installed it on any of my own PC's, only installed it on a work PC for one application done by a remote office.

    I guess they will need to rewrite that at some stage, if the budget permits.

  21. Jeff Lewis

    So it's finally happened - cat videos literally ARE the only thing left on the Internet.

    The idea that people might want to develop websites in languages more modern and well designed than Javascript, that's 20 years old (and got the first major update recently after 16 years) and was cobbled together in a few hours by one person... who himself says we have to replace it with a bytecoded language like C# which is the foundation of Silverlight... is apparently beyond even Microsoft.

    Then again, Microsoft wants everyone writing desktop apps in HTML/JS and C++. Which is like suggesting the only two cars a person should drive is the Volkswagon Beetle and and Ford Pinto.


    The Web. The only area of computing that's actually going *backwards* in time.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "The Web. The only area of computing that's actually going *backwards* in time."

      You forgot to mention desktop UIs, and the idea that a PC might belong to the person who fucking paid for it rather than the company they "rent" it off.

      The whole damn industry's going backwards.

  22. Mort

    Microsoft should mention this to their own product teams

    System Centre ConfigMgr still installs Silverlight by default on all client systems to use a component most people probably don't even use. While it is easy to tell it not to install, the option is obscure and not widely advertised or obvious

    1. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft should mention this to their own product teams

      Not only that, but it is used by the self service software install catalog. So, if you want users to be able to go and install their own software on request then you have to have Silverlight... They even reduced the capability of the "Software Center" when they introduced this feature - so its the only way to have this feature.

  23. Alan J. Wylie

    Ordnance Survey

    At last, the OS has an alternative to the Silverlight interface that I have been complaining to them about for years.

    1. TheDataRecoverer

      Re: Ordnance Survey

      If only DofE could chase this down: 250,000 young people take part in DofE, and for their expeditions the mapping has NO way of working on a Mac, AND requires Silverlight on Windows.....not a great situation.

      Mind you, eDofE has plenty of other reasons for not wanting to use it.

  24. Paladin


    Can anyone name a requirement for M$ SCCM 2012's client? Give you a hint it starts with "S" and ends with "Light"! ;-)

  25. Trixr

    Dear Microsoft: stop distributing the effing thing with your SCCM, sorry SYSTEM CENTER, client, then.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How times have changed

    I remember it wasn't too long ago that Microsoft shills and web devs who were in its pockets were praising Silverlight to the heavens, declaring that it will dethrone Flash and become the de facto standard of web content playback. There were even a few simple Silverlight-based games/demos being paraded around to showcase the technical prowess of Silverlight.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    But that still didn't stop Microsoft from listing Silverlight as one of the 'recommended updates' for Windows Updates.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: How times have changed

      It wasn't *that* recent. It has been a few years since MS declared that Silverlight was dead and would receive no major development love. I think Netflix adopted it a couple of months before the announcement. How we laughed. And then it hung around for years and years.

  27. Rick Giles


    McAfee had been using Silverlight in the console for their Enterprise Mobility Management product prior to version 11. Once they switched to ePO it is only really called upon when you need to get to a few of the server functions that they haven't embedded in to the ePO console yet.

  28. Bladeforce

    Microsoft being..

    ..dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming. Much easier if you just went the right way to begin with. The way that benefits everyone not just you

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    wanna tell Visual 2000. The PLM system relies on it and now only supported on IE, Mac users suffer similar woes so what do they say....didly squat

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