If there were any remaining doubts about Silverlight's importance to Microsoft, the company seems to be going out of its way to put them to rest.
Next month Microsoft is holding a Silverlight-focused, one day event both at its Redmond campus and streamed online, which is aimed at giving developers a look at what's coming next for the Silverlight platform. The event will also offer developers hands-on training sessions showing them how to make use of the runtime in Windows Phone 7 applications, online, and in native desktop software applications.
Microsoft is billing the event, which is part of the company's Firestarter series, as a being "just like an extra day of PDC, dedicated to Silverlight." This is of special note given Silverlight's relative absence from Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, which took place just a few weeks ago. The move was not overlooked by developers, many of whom wanted to know how Silverlight factored into some of the latest Internet Explorer 9 platform developments that were unveiled during the company's keynote address.
The issue was later compounded during an interview with Microsoft's president of server and tools, Bob Muglia, who told ZDNet that the company's strategy with Silverlight had "shifted." Shortly thereafter, Muglia posted to Microsoft's Silverlight Team Blog in an attempt to reaffirm the company's ongoing efforts and dedication to the product, which was followed by news that Silverlight would no longer be required to use some functionality found in Bing maps.
Silverlight continues to be an integral part of Windows Phone 7 development, as the platform makes use of it in the developer tools to build applications. As such, a large portion of next month's event sessions will be focused on Microsoft's new mobile platform.