Considering migrating to silverlight - are there any official figures for silverlight propagation, and advice?

We are considering migrating our site from flash to silverlight, and also building additional components in silverlight. However there is a strong argument that many people do not have silverlight on their computers, and will not or cannot install silverlight.

Are there any official figures on how many computers have adopted silverlight, and is it a bad idea to build a company website with elements of silverlight on it?

Please note I am not trying to be subjective here, I am looking for solid, official figures and also advice about whether this is considered in general by developers to be an acceptable deployment solution.

I have to discuss this issue with my boss later.


From my answer to this question:

Adobe Flash is on 97% of computers.

Silverlight is on 55% of computers.

Java is on 73%


According to Microsoft (so read into that what you will) current Silverlight penetration is 60%. For further "solid, official figures" you might need to cite the authorities you are willing to accept as being "official".

Whether it would be a good idea for you to migrate would depend very much on what sort of site you are running. Your site would need to be quite compelling to entice others of the 40% or more web clients to install Silveright to access your application.

If you are already a "Flash site" you must surely have built up some skills in this tool and you already have access to a larger set of clients. You would therefore have to have some killer reason to use Silverlight because Flash has something very important missing. What would that be?

"Is it a bad idea to have elements of Silverlight on your site"? I would say that this is the best way forward as long as those elements are not critical to delivery of your content. That way you can gauge the willingness of your visitors to install Silverlight without blocking their access to the reason they came to your site in the first place. This will give you basis for your own "solid, official figures" about whether to grow your usage of Silverlight or not.

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