#15 – WPF vs. Silverlight and ASP.NET

WPF, Silverlight and ASP.NET are Microsoft’s three main application development platforms.

  • WPF
    • For developing Windows applications
    • Thick client user interface, with most rich set of user controls and Windows-specific features
    • Platforms–runs only on Windows, in or out of browser
    • Requires full .NET Framework installed on client
  • Silverlight
    • For developing web applications that can also run out of browser
    • Thin client, with richer UI controls that are closer to traditional thick client controls
    • Platforms
      • Runs as browser plug-in in most browsers
      • Silverlight client software runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Windows Phone 7
      • Moonlight version of Silverlight allows running on Linux
    • Requires Silverlight framework installed on client (when page is first loaded)
  • ASP.NET
    • For developing web applications
    • Thin client, with fairly generic web-based controls
    • Platforms–runs on server, so client is delivered as standard HTML on any platform–including browsers on mobile devices
    • Requires nothing to be installed on client
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