The first datagrids available from Microsoft and third-party component vendors were built for Windows Forms applications. They are built using the .NET framework and leverage the full power of the Windows platform. Due to the underlying architecture and the sheer longevity of the Windows .NET platform, WinForms datagrids are generally considered the most functional and interactive datagrid controls among all platforms.
ASP.NET datagrids came out at the same time the WinForms controls were launched and had a similar feature set.
ASP.NET with HTML5 Datagrids
These new datagrids are exciting for a few different reasons. Firstly, rich and interactive web-based business applications are the norm today thanks to pioneers like salesforce.com and Google. There is a definite trend towards using the web, rather than the desktop, as the preferred development environment.
As a result, it's best to go with a vendor that has already established itself as the leader in providing HTML5-enabled ASP.NET datagrids.
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Datagrids
The first WPF Grids were launched in the same year as the Silverlight datagrids. These datagrids made full use of the powerful presentation tier and data binding capabilities of WPF. This resulted in two immediate advantages - a dramatically easier in-place editing experience and more graphically appealing user interface with rich interactivity. Over the years, there has been a slow but steady shift by developers in terms of moving away from building WinForms applications to building WPF applications to take advantage of the platform's capabilities. Consequently, WPF datagrids have benefited from this shift in terms of adoption and the focusing of development resources by component vendors.
Microsoft Silverlight™ Datagrids
In 2008, Microsoft disseminated the first default Silverlight datagrid that made it possible to provide a more responsive user experience within web browsers, more flexible layouts for the datagrid cells and an easier programming model for web developers. Just like in the past, that was a cue for component vendors to launch more powerful, robust datagrids for Silverlight that could be used in real-world business applications. Over the years though, the momentum has been shifting from browser plug-in technology to HTML5 and related web frameworks that don't require any downloads but still support very rich internet applications.