WPF vs Silverlight: Difference and Comparison

Every company has a different database and framework for its application. There is always a framework for the features.

The two such platforms are WPF and Silverlight. Both are produced by Microsoft and designed in different platforms and languages. Here are some differences between them to make one understand the development made in both frameworks.

Key Takeaways

  1. WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) is a desktop application framework, while Silverlight is a web-based application framework.
  2. WPF is a part of the .NET Framework, while Silverlight is a browser plugin that supports cross-platform development.
  3. Silverlight has a smaller runtime and supports multiple browsers, while WPF provides richer UI capabilities and better performance for Windows applications.

WPF vs Silverlight

WPF is used for creating desktop applications, while Silverlight is used for developing web applications that run on a browser. Silverlight is optimized for running in a browser and has a smaller runtime footprint. It provides a subset of WPF’s features and creates interactive web applications.

WPF vs Silverlight

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The full form of WPF is Windows Presentation Foundation. This is a platform developed by the .NET foundation. The main author of this foundation is Microsoft. This program is written in C#, C++, and C.

The popular Android and iOS are not provided by the Silverlight operating system, which allows this to get operated in Windows, Mac OS, and Symbian OS. This was designed in programming languages like JavaScript, C#, C++, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWPFSilverlight
Used forWPF is mainly used for creating desktop applications.Silverlight is used for making web-based application.
FeaturesWPF has extended support for the advanced features of Windows OS. Some of these features are: 3D, complete documentation, support, and hardware support.Silverlight has no features for Window OS like 3D, complete documentation, support, and hardware support.
Data binding propertiesWPF includes an extensive collection of data binding properties.Silverlight does not support all data binding properties like WPF.
Commands Routed command feature is available in WPF where all the commands are linked with a common property called Command. Routed commands or command property is not available in Silverlight.
Input binding supportInput binding support is allowed in WPF.Input binding support is not allowed in Silverlight.

What is WPF?

The full form of WPF is Windows Presentation Foundation. This is a platform developed by the .NET foundation.

The WPF provides routed commands to the developers. All the commands used are linked to the other using a property called Command.

There are mainly four kinds of data binding properties available. These are one-way, one-time, two-way, and one-way to the source. 

The 3D feature gives the display screen more complex graphics and better custom themes. This feature also allows transferring some workload to the GPU, which relieves the CPU from the huge workload. 

What is Silverlight?

Silverlight is a framework of the application which are used for running rich web applications. Silverlight is also a product of Microsoft.

The earlier versions of Silverlight focused on streaming media, whereas the latest versions were mainly focused on graphics and animations.

Microsoft has also terminated the license for the Internet Explorer for Silverlight. This also has no plug-in for Microsoft Edge and also does not get supported for Google Chrome since 2015 and Firefox since 2017. 

The modern-day framework applications are much more advanced in comparison to Silverlight. So this framework is now not available to use.

Main Differences Between WPF and Silverlight

  1. The routed command feature is available in WPF, where all the commands are linked with a common property called Command. On the other hand, Silverlight does not provide routed commands or command property. Silverlight provides only an interface called ICommand.
  2. WPF provides binding input support, but in comparison to that, Silverlight does not provide binding input support.
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=558i6t1dKEAC&oi=fnd&pg=PR11&dq=wpf&ots=g1rkDGERLN&sig=3LxMnO25NW1tzRwgtkrjo4dqnvw
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=MZKIjKV3kX4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=wpf&ots=4iFoDG_gQV&sig=KjSu6yiiwxm9t6zFbWzGCWaBf2g

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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