Vole is about to start manufacturing Silverlight 5 and indications are that it might be the last major release of Silverlight.
ZDNet’s deepthroats claim that the last version of Microsoft’s cross-platform browser plug-in is poised to be released to manufacturing (RTM) before the end of November.
But they have added that Silverlight 5 is the last version that Microsoft will release and it is unsure if there will be any service packs for it. It is uncertain how long Silverlight 5 will be supported either.
Microsoft has not helped kill off the rumours. There’s no end date yet on Microsoft’s lifecycle page for free support for Silverlight for Silverlight 4.
Vole has promised that it will give developers and customers a year’s heads-up before ending support for any given Silverlight version. Free support for Silverlight 3 ended in April.
It is also looking like Vole will not develop Silverlight 5 to work on other browsers. Silverlight 4 supports Windows and Mac OS X and the IE, Chrome and Safari browsers, but word is that Vole will only allow it to run on Internet Exploder.
We have been predicting that Vole will pull the plug on Silverlight for ages, particularly after it declared its undying love for HTML 5. Microsoft has been increasingly pushing Silverlight into the smartphone app business,
There is nothing official about all this, but it is a case of the rumours making sense.