Microsoft's embrace of HTML5 signaled the switching of Windows coding standards, which ultimately meant the weaning of developers off traditional Windows tools.
While Silverlight, Microsoft’s rich Internet application plug-in competed with Adobe Flash back in the days, before HTML5 overthrew them both. The support for Silverlight did continue for sometime, as the company made available the F12 HTML tools in Internet Explorer, until generally accepted a fully-featured tool for HTML5 on the platform, the traditional tools remained indispensable.
Albeit, Microsoft still supports Silverlight 5, however it's already slated for discontinuation in October 2021. And Silverlight support has been limited to Internet Explorer 10 and 11.
But, the recent introduction of OpenSilver by .NET software company Userware, will provide an open source re-implementation of the erstwhile Silverlight via the WebAssembly binary format.
How OpenSilver intends to resurrect Silverlight?
OpenSilver serves as a plug-in-free version of Silverlight, using the Mono software platform for WebAssembly and Microsoft Blazor. It fills the gap left by legacy Silverlight, and useful for building new applications or upgrading existing Silverlight apps.
Silverlight can also be recompiled with OpenSilver to run on all browsers supporting WebAssembly, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. And it is supported on several operating systems, such as Windows, ChromeOS, iOS and Android platforms.
How to Get started with OpenSilver
If you are a developer and want to build an application using OpenSilver, you can download a free extension for the Visual Studio 2019 IDE, which will install project templates to “New Project” dialog.
And developers using Visual Studio should simply select the Silverlight Universal Windows Platform (UWP) dialects.
Also, the extension can be used to recompile applications, and the current preview covers about 60 per cent of the Silverlight API, with almost all the commonly used features supported. Additional features expected include Open RIA Services and Telerik UI for Silverlight.