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Posted 11 Nov 2011

Microsoft WPF - Silverlight Comparision

, 13 Nov 2011
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Microsoft WPF vs. Silverlight, a comparision


Microsoft WPF - Silverlight Comparision


Features/ Support



Platform Support

WPF is a Windows desktop technology for developing Windows application in the
.NET framework

Silverlight is a web technology, that is fully supported by a browser plugin on
both Windows and MAC (in a similar fashion to Flash). There is also a plugin for
running Silverlight on Linux (Moonlight).


Presentation Core --> .NET Framework --> CLR

Presentation Core -->.NET for Silverlight --> CLR for Silverlight --> Browser


WPF applications can be deployed as a standalone application, ClickOnce
application, or a XAML Browser application. BAML is a binary form of the XAML in
a WPF application

Silverlight applications are hosted within a web server and a web page. To
minimize client download size, Silverlight uses an XAP archive. A XAP archive is
a zip-compressed archive of the Silverlight application, plus a manifest file
describing the content.

XAML processing

WPF has its own XAML parser

XAML parser that is part of the Silverlight core install

Xml/Object Data Provider

Supports the XmlDataProvider and ObjectDataProvider

Supports the XmlDataProvider but not the ObjectDataProvider

Access to .NET Network Stack

WPF has access to the full .NET networking stack and can make any type of call

Silverlight is a browser-based technology that has access to a subset of the
.NET Framework (called the CoreCLR). Can only make asynchronous network calls

Cryptography Namespaces

WPF has access to 107 cryptography classes and supports the full range of
algorithms in the .NET Framework.

Cryptography (Silverlight has 20 classes in the namespace. Silverlight supports
only 4 hashing algorithms and the AES encryption protocol

Deep Zoom



Data Binding

Supports MultiBinding

Doesn't support MultiBinding



Limited support




Freezable objects


No (Flow Document are designed to optimize viewing and readability)

3D Drawing


3D Support is limited

Flow Document support



Dynamic resources



Multitouch API

WPF has element-level support for multitouch events on its UIElement class.

Silverlight 4 client as a whole is registered for touch messages, and the
multitouch events are handled through a client-level Touch service class.

Out-of-Browser Support

WPF has an XBAP deployment model that runs in a browser

Silverlight uses a different deployment technique where an application can be
configured to run outside the browser after being installed from a host Web page

Screen Coordinate System

WPF has a theoretically unbounded coordinate system

Silverlight has a bounded coordinate system


WPF supports a measurement system that by default is based on Device Independent
Pixel (DIP) units

Silverlight supports a measurement system that is always based on pixel units.

URL based navigation




Anything serializable

Text only


All visually rendering elements derive from the Visual base class

Elements derive from Control

External Device access

Anything with drivers, COM, Win32 or Communication Protocol

Webcam, Camera, Microphone and device with COM API or compatible communication

File Access



WPF Specific Functionality

Desktop Functionality (Printing, XPS Documents, Speech, InterOp) XAML (Styles
) User Interface (3D Graphics, Themes, Skins, Image Manipulation, Page-Based
Navigation, Input Gestures) General Functionality (Freezable Objects, Data
Providers, Validation, Dynamic Resources, Code Access Security )


Silverlight Specific Functionality


Web Functionality (Browser InterOp) Media (Traditional Streaming, Progressive
Download, Smooth Streaming, Timeline Markers ) Deep Zoom


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

QuestionWhat technology is best for beginner ? Pin
Dharmesh .S. Patil15-Jul-15 18:35
professionalDharmesh .S. Patil15-Jul-15 18:35 
Generalvery nice. Thanks for the info Pin
Eduard Lu27-Nov-11 18:06
memberEduard Lu27-Nov-11 18:06 
GeneralI agree we need to know the version. Also, what about automa... Pin
craigsn18-Nov-11 1:05
membercraigsn18-Nov-11 1:05 
GeneralIt's nice to have a comparison of this sort. I might add it ... Pin
Sree42013-Nov-11 4:40
memberSree42013-Nov-11 4:40 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 useful know about diff b/w wpf and s... Pin
Nivas Maran11-Nov-11 22:56
memberNivas Maran11-Nov-11 22:56 
Question Pin
iimagegrapher23-Nov-11 19:16
memberiimagegrapher23-Nov-11 19:16 

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