With Microsoft finally replacing the age-old crime to web fashion that is Internet Explorer, a number of changes are being made to its replacement, the much trendier-sounding Edge browser. Most significant of these is the recently noted omission of ActiveX-based extensions, and as a result, Microsoft confirmed today that its own Silverlight media player plugin will be left in the past too.
"Support for ActiveX has been discontinued in Microsoft Edge, and that includes removing support for Silverlight," writes the Microsoft Edge development team on its official blog.
"The reasons for this have been discussed in previous blogs and include the emergence of viable and secure media solutions based on HTML5 extensions. Microsoft continues to support Silverlight, and Silverlight out-of-browser apps can continue to use it. Silverlight will also continue to be supported in Internet Explorer 11, so sites continue to have Silverlight options in Windows 10. At the same time, we encourage companies that are using Silverlight for media to begin the transition to DASH/MSE/ CENC/EME based designs and to follow a single, DRM-interoperable encoding work flow enabled by CENC. This represents the most broadly interoperable solution across browsers, platforms, content and devices going forward."
From this, users still dowdily sporting Internet Explorer 11 need not worry. Support for Microsoft Silverlight will remain ever-present in the hands of legacy browser applications. For those optimistically seeking to adopt the new Edge browser upon release, you shan't hesitate either. Most websites have dropped Silverlight anyway, moving on to more ubiquitous platforms like HTML5.
Most notably, Netflix dropped support for Silverlight in favor of HTML5 in 2013. The most recent addition to the Silverlight family was Silverlight 5 all the way back in 2011 which, while receiving consistent updates from Microsoft, has not undergone a significant overhaul in over four years.