I have heard, and participated in, the HTML 5 vs. Silverlight argument. Often the dialog begins with something like “Silverlight is on deaths door, HTML 5 has fatally wounded Silverlight and it will officially become a corpse in the very near future”. I could not disagree more.
I do not see HTML 5 as a competitor to Silverlight. While they share some of the same abilities, to me they seem more like two chefs in a single kitchen: both can produce glorious meals simultaneously in different (or the same) ways, both can choose to work together to create a single unified experience or choose to do their own thing, merely existing within the same space at the same time.
Today the Silverlight Team blogged about The Future of Silverlight and how HTML 5 will play a role in that future
On the web, the purpose of Silverlight has never been to replace HTML; it’s to do the things that HTML (and other technologies) couldn’t in a way that was easy for developers to tap into. Microsoft remains committed to using Silverlight to extend the web by enabling scenarios that HTML doesn’t cover. From simple “islands of richness” in HTML pages to full desktop-like applications in the browser and beyond, Silverlight enables applications that deliver the kinds of rich experiences users want. We group these into three broad categories: premium media experiences, consumer apps and games, and business/enterprise apps.
I encourage you to Read the Entire Article and Subscribe to the Silverlight Team Blog. In my opinion Silverlight is here to stay, its a solid viable technology, and I am committed to continuing to use it to solve real world problems as I build software.
In this discussion of the future of Silverlight, there’s a critical point that is sometimes overlooked as Silverlight is still often referred to—even by Microsoft—as a browser plug-in. The web is evolving and Silverlight is evolving, too. Although applications running inside a web browser remain a focus for us, two years ago we began showing how Silverlight is much more than a browser technology.