From Java vs .NET framework to ipod vs zune to silverlight vs flash… Microsoft always has the knack of coming up with strong opponents to topple the market leaders. By now, as all of us know, Silverlight is no different. I didn’t get my hands dirty with silverlight yet and so please correct me if I am wrong.
Silverlight–What is it?
Silverlight is a cross- browser, cross-platform plug in that allows developers to create .NET applications(C# etc), for delivering media and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web.
The first thing I liked about it is its 1 MB size to download. Silverlight is a lightweight subset of XAML. By separating markup (XAML) from code, Silverlight provides a familiar web metaphor for developers. XAML can be embedded directly witihin an HTML file or can be kept separate. Microsoft is also introducing a new drm system, called PlayReady. The current version of Flash cannot protect content at this time. It is very easy for an ASP.NET AJAX developer to add Silverlight content.
How and why silverlight would succeed?
With all their experience in building user friendly tools, microsoft can avoid the mistakes adobe has committed and can come up with a much better toolset. Their expression suite that I saw in one of the videos is pretty impressive.
Microsoft should and will pour money in silverlight’s promotion. Given their experience, this shouldn’t be a problem.
One of the major problems with microsoft is that it isn’t cross-platform. It seems to have sorted it out with silverlight.
As of now, silverlight looks likes a clone of flash. They need to improve their feature set in future.
To conclude, a lot of developers(around 84%) doing RIAs are using adobe applications now. Silverlight is a welcome change and good competitior but I still think it has a long way to go to dethrone flash completely.