I just did a check for fixes & updates using Windows Updates.
The result of the check was a software update for which I do not know
if I should download and install it or not. As an “end user” home
computer, I don’t know if I need “Silverlight v1.0”. I was wondering if
you could shed some light on this Silverlight and, generally speaking,
whether or not a home user would need or use Silverlight.
Do you need it? Probably not yet. But I’m guessing that someday you
will want it.
And even if you don’t, I’m guessing not having it will, eventually,
be annoying enough that you’ll give in and install it anyway.
This is a frustratingly classic case of “Resistance is Futile”.
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Here’s the Microsoft line on Silverlight:
Microsoft Silverlight delivers a new generation of high-quality
audio and video, engaging media experiences, and interactive
applications for the Web.
In a way, Silverlight is much like Adobe’s Flash in that it enables
a bunch of functionality that “plain old HTML” simply doesn’t support such as
animation, video, multimedia and more. In fact, Silverlight
is considered in many ways a Flash competitor.
So, do you need it?
Probably not yet. The number of web sites that are using it is
actually small. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually see any difference
as you browse the web without Silverlight for some time, with a few
Chances are that for now you won’t really notice any issues …”
Microsoft is of course pushing everyone to install Silverlight
support on their machines so that website authors will be encouraged to
use the new technology. You’re seeing it in Windows Update. In fact, if
you simply visit the Microsoft home page, you’ll likely be prompted
right there to install it as well, since Microsoft is naturally also
using the technology itself. At this point, it’s not a requirement, but
it wouldn’t surprise me if someday certain key features required
My guess is that it’s simply going to become annoying.
You may run into a site where you actually want to install
it to get the site’s functionality, and that’s fine. It’s actually a
fairly small download and install.
What I expect, though, is to be nagged into submission by Windows
Update, and by visiting sites that don’t require it, but promise some
kind “enhanced experience” if you have do it.
Right now there are bumps in the road. I’m finding that if you’re
running Internet Explorer all seems to be well. Silverlight installs
and runs just fine. However, if you are visiting Microsoft.com with FireFox 3,
the site doesn’t believe that Silverlight is installed and keeps
offering it, even though Silverlight is most definitely installed.
That’s a little frustrating, but sadly not terribly surprising.
So my bottom line: you can keep avoiding it, if you like. Chances
are that for now you won’t really notice any issues other than the
occasional reminder that you haven’t installed it.
Me? I gave in and installed it, just to remove one more
It does at times seem that resistance is futile.