Thoughts on Microsoft Silverlight

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
When I first heard about this software, I thought "Oh great, Microsoft is copying yet another manufacturer." And they are, but then I thought "if it has its own reason to exist and improves something, why not?" Then I saw the demo.



There is nothing there that Flash is not doing already. And the "Expression Studio: is laughable compared to Adobe's Crerative Suite.



I know it is common for Microsoft to be bashed on these boards and I am not wanting to do that as they make some good software (Office) and some bad software (Windows, IE,). the more I think about the introduction of silverlight, the more I think it is bad for web users. Let me give the reasons I think this way:



1) Why bother? Flash already is doing amazing things. It is the only plugin you need to install to make most websites work flawlessly. Silverlight is just one more piece of software to have to install. When you see animation (and video) on the web, you automatically know it's flash. Now you will have to check up on it (and possibly download the lates plugin). This is not good for users of the internet. I hate even having to download Flash Player updates.



2) Microsoft the company. Adobe and Apple seem to make software that is purpose built to be the best at what it does and to genuinely benefit the user and community (that is why I swithced to Mac a year ago). Microsoft on the other hand just seems to be in it to make a buck. The software is inferior, less secure and is tied to Microsofts licensing schema, which is terrible. To listen to Steve Ballmer, it seems like they enter certain markets just because they can and they feel like they have to bully the world into going their way. Just look at the Zune, Live Search, Expression Studio, Windows itself, etc. they enter a market to compete with inferior software but a superior marketing budget all with a desing to tie the user down to them.



3) User base. Adobe already has tons of software installed on computers around the world. Flash plugin has already permeated the web. People succumbing to Ms's marketing and migrating to their software will break compatiblility and force users to have to keep up with a whole new software and plugin just to do the same thing that Adobe already does better (the curent state of silverlight is no threat to flash - at all).



These are just some thoughts I was having while I was designing a new website and contemplating the state of the universe.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member
    While Flash is a ubiquitious format, alone it doesn't comprise what developers are looking at for the next generation of web applications.



    Microsoft Silverlight is a Flash competitor but it's more of an Adobe Apollo competitor. Apollo takes Flash/Flex and mates it with Ajax and Webkit for HTML for creating web and RIA content. Apollo also seems to have some interesting links into the local filesystem throught the runtime.



    Where Silverlight looks formidable is it's support for a multiplicity of development frameworks. You have VB, .NET, Ruby on Rails, Python and likely others to use. The Expression Studio is not meant to compete with CS3. Yes it does graphics but it's really and adjunct to Visual Studio 2005 and allows you to develop your Rich Internet Apps with tools more graphically oriented.



    Silverlights runtime payload is pretty small. They demoed video clips that could be played, linked and other stuff and Silverlight only added 50k to the payload. Not bad for efficiency.



    So while Flash is everywhere Microsoft is trying to leverage the millions of VB and .NET developers to take their existing skills and point them towards creating a new generation of RIA.



    Apollo and Silverlight are pretty big. I believe both will co-exist just fine.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    evokenevoken Posts: 56member
    I saw the samples they provided in the Silverlight website, really nothing new or that Flash cannot do better already. In my opinion, this is just another of many Microsoft's unsuccessful attempts at playing "me too". It will get some media hype and then it will just fade and Microsoft will drop it or keep it, who knows. It most certainly is no Flash killer.





    Evo
  • Reply 3 of 5
    9secondko9secondko Posts: 929member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Evoken View Post


    I saw the samples they provided in the Silverlight website, really nothing new or that Flash cannot do better already. In my opinion, this is just another of many Microsoft's unsuccessful attempts at playing "me too". It will get some media hype and then it will just fade and Microsoft will drop it or keep it, who knows. It most certainly is no Flash killer.





    Evo



    Expression studio IS a competitor to CS3. CS3 is also used as an accessory to .net fo rthose who choose to use it.



    the shole expression/ silverlight junk is just ms trying to make some money. their stuff is not as good, nor is it even needed. that is the problem. they take an ecosystem that is growing well and is stabilizing and becoming easier for users and they complicate it again with junkware. If they could make money from it, they would return the internet back to the old days when jsut about every website required it own set of plugins and downloads to work properly.



    open note to microsoft: STAY AWAY!
  • Reply 4 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,259member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Evoken View Post


    I saw the samples they provided in the Silverlight website, really nothing new or that Flash cannot do better already. In my opinion, this is just another of many Microsoft's unsuccessful attempts at playing "me too". It will get some media hype and then it will just fade and Microsoft will drop it or keep it, who knows. It most certainly is no Flash killer.



    Evo



    If you're forming your opinion of Silverlight based off of the marcomm from the website you're not getting anywhere near the full picture. I watched the whole 2+ hour Mix 07 presentation and it's abundantly clear that Silverlight is an Apollo competitor and not Flash. I can assure that your assertions are wrong. Flash doesn't do RIA on its own...you need Flash/Flex, Ajax and Ruby. I'm certainly no Microsoft fanboy but I'll give credit where credit is due. Silverlight is formidable. The "Silverlight is like Flash" is the message given to those who don't know or care about computing. The Mix 07 keynote is aimed at developers so they don't dumb things down. Silverlight is MUCH more than Flash alone.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post


    Expression studio IS a competitor to CS3. CS3 is also used as an accessory to .net fo rthose who choose to use it.



    the shole expression/ silverlight junk is just ms trying to make some money. their stuff is not as good, nor is it even needed. that is the problem. they take an ecosystem that is growing well and is stabilizing and becoming easier for users and they complicate it again with junkware. If they could make money from it, they would return the internet back to the old days when jsut about every website required it own set of plugins and downloads to work properly.



    open note to microsoft: STAY AWAY!



    Yes you could buy Expression studio to do graphics but if you look at the components and really understand Microsofts message here it's clear that Expression Studio and Visual Studio are meant to work together to develop rich web applications. Sure CS3 is often used for assembling assets for application development but few people would state the suites primary focus is application development.



    http://www.microsoft.com/Expression/.../overview.aspx



    Quote:

    Expression Studio Overview



    Introducing Microsoft Expression Studio, a suite of tools for creative designers that gives you the freedom to bring your vision to reality and boosts developer collaboration in the delivery of rich user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista applications and beyond. Expression Studio is now an essential part of the overall workflow for adding compelling user interfaces to the underlying power of the Microsoft technology platform.



    The website for MES clearly aims the product at develpers of web content. Print Publishing, Adobe's stronghold, is not featured. Adobe bought Macromedia because they new they were weak in web technologies.



    Summary:



    Silverlight is not a toy folks. It's a pretty clean and flexible system for developing the much hyped "Web 2.0" features. Rather than be a closed system Microsoft is delivering the toolset on Macs and PC and the Mac appears to have parity for the most part. Silverlight allows for local editing on the Mac during authoring. They demoed this and it worked fine.



    Silverlight isn't going to lock anyone in as I can tell right now. Other than .net many authors will have Apollo as an option or just pieceing together apps with today's bountiful toolsets. Apple has embraced Ruby, Python and Ajax but there are no integrated development enviroments yet that powerfully pull these elements all together. Who knows perhaps Apple is working on one with a cross-platform runtime as well. This is Web 2.0 race is going to be hotly contested.



    I notice that Microsoft is looking at Yahoo for a buyout again. I'm betting that Yahoo would figure into their plans MUCH more now because of Silverlight. Makes no bones about it...Silverlight is substantial. Now we wait to see what Adobe does with Apollo and Apple's direction.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    regreg Posts: 832member
    Will Silverlight make Flip4Mac obsolete? Since I don't develope web apps I look for apps or plug ins that will do the most for me when playing web video. Flip4Mac has had problems with lots of sites and there are still many sites that use WMP. If I could drop Flip4mac it would make my day.
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