MS Silverlight - don’t give up on Flash just yet
By Murray Bourne, 31 Jul 2007
Microsoft has released an alpha version of Silverlight. It's an attempt to take market share from Adobe's Flash.
MS have made Silverlight multi-platform, and this is commendable. From the blurb:
MicrosoftÂ® Silverlightâ„¢ is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.
You can't resize this popup. You can barely use the movie controls. Not impressed.
I then went to the game that was made using Silverlight: Zero Gravity (page no longer available). I was not that impressed - it certainly didn't do anything that Flash cannot already do.
In their whitepaper, Microsoft explains about the "Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), eXtensible Application Markup Language (XAML)" background to Silverlight. They go on:
That certainly makes sense. However, Flash downloads are quite painless these days, and I am not sure that XAML is a compelling reason to change to this Microsoft product.
In the interests of fairness, I fired up IE and tried to look again at the video offerings in the showcase. This time I could see the videos okay (surprise). Was it a compelling experience? No. Does it give better quality than Flash video? No.
It will be interesting to see this play out. I expect it will take a lot of convincing before the die-hard Actionscript crowd give up on Flash.
The clincher will be how easy it is to program in Silverlight. For those with experience in Microsoft Expression Graphic Designer and Visual Studio, it appears from the whitepaper (referred to earlier) that creating Silverlight objects is quite straightforward.
Let the games begin. I can't see YouTube changing their platform any time soon.
Footnote: The whitepaper includes instructions for creating Silverlight documents in Firefox, as well as IE. Seems Redmond has finally noticed the market share they are continually losing...
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