As you grow more experienced with app development, it will fall on you to maintain older software like Silverlight or help manage local, infrastructure or cloud databases.
Installing the Silverlight SDKs and the LightSwitch tool take up little room on your harddrive, and you might find opportunity to use them. For instances Silverlight is still used by Netflix's and I am sure if you had an opportunity to live in Santa Monica you would take it. As to databases, even app developers are often given the responsibility to implement and maintain databases, in this case LightSwitch is a great tool to do this.
So for Silverlight SDKS and why they are used see: Sliverlight , and indeed Silverlight is fading along with XNA, but you might find the occasional project that is being maintained using Silverlight. Otherwise I am not commenting on Silverlight versus HTML 5, you decide.
As to LightSwitch, well different story here. The development team has been working hard to build out tools for rapidly building and deploying apps that will work on Phone as well as clients. For more information about this see: Announcing LightSwitch in Visual Studio 2013 Preview and Visual Studio LightSwitch .
What does LightSwitch have to do with C++?
As shown in the image, LightSwitch applications are designed using the classical three tier system. The middle tier can be any language, and now that C++ is so much easier to work with, it comes back into consideration.
Otherwise I am not commenting on Silverlight versus HTML 5?
WHAT????? HTML 5? NO COMPARISION AT ALL.. MSFT YOU KILLED SILVERLIGHT RIGHT WHEN IT GOT MATURE.. .AND WE SILVERLIGHT DEVS ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE IT WORK FOR WINDOWS DEVICES THAT COMPRISE 3% OF THE MARKET ???? ARE YOU HIGH RIGHT NOW, MSFT?? DO SILVERLIGHT 6 NOT. I CHOSE SILVERLIGHT BECAUSE I WANTED SOME MAC SUPPORT. AND SOUND EFFECTS. AND ITS SMALL SIZE... I DONT NEED ALL OF WPF. AND BROWSER DEPOLYMENT.
I AM NOT HIGH AT ALL I AM SEVERLY DEPRESSED. I HAVE 4 YEARS AND AND LIFE SAVING INVESTED IN A C# CODEBASE. WHEN PROGRAMMERS SEE THE WORD SILVERLIGHT THEY CRINGE AND FEEL LIKE I HAVE AIDS. I F SWITCH TO UNITY YOU CAN BE DAMN SURE WINDOWS MOBILE WILL BE AT THE BOTTOM OF MY LIST.
Dear Betrayed Game Programmer,
Like your passion, and as an employee of Microsoft, I too am saddened by the treatment of Silverlight.
As to the 3%, I think that is a little higher than the current numbers, but I could be wrong or the WSJ article was wrong about the phone penetration.
As to switching to Unity3D, which I do like by the way, if you are going to do in-app purchases make sure that you understand the state of Unity3D with respect to that technology.
As to Silverlight, it was a lovely thing, and I am empathic with your pain, I too put a lot of time into Silverlight as well.
HTML5 is the accepted standard for webpages and with the new path Microsoft is taking the company has made the decision to change it's support of Silverlight.
So bottom line: Please make the switch to Unity3D if that is the platform that interests you. If you have the capabilities take a look at the C++ based engines as well, this way you can also include in-app purchases to your games and products.