Microsoft debuts its ‘Flash killer’ Silverlight

Ok, firstly, I hate the term "Flash Killer" as it just sends all the wrong messages about SilverLight. Secondly, read the  first before you start any rants about how Adobe will kick our butts or crap like that.

Microsoft will reveal new technology designed to take on Adobe's ubiquitous Flash interactive Web animation system, as part of a broader strategy to go head to head with Web and design tools powerhouse Adobe Systems Inc.

As you can see, the perception out there is that Microsoft is going head to head with Adobe, and it's easy for the press to dress that story up to suite.

My job is to help change that perception (socialize it), to illustrate where Microsoft is going with vs comparing it to Flash all the time. This will be done over time, and it's why you'll see more Adobe related discussions from me throughout the web community.

I get certain about of grief from Adobe staffers telling me how I should do my job, well let me respond (finally) now out loud.

My background and experience (ranging from Allaire/Macromedia/Adobe days) that I can start to draw comparisons more appropriately to our product offerings vs Adobe's, it's so when developers I engage in the field ask me a question around  or Windows Presentation Foundation and how they will draw context back to Adobe, I can answer with accuracy and yes, I have no issues on being self-critical with Microsoft's offerings should they arise.

It's because of this, that I will talk about Adobe on my blog or in other blogs, I'll also be the counter-message to silly PR spins that I see around Adobe as I think at times, we see more of a controlled message delivery rather than actual answers. Feel free to challenge me likewise on SilverLight, WPF or Expression Tools as I'll do more to help in this space.

I'm just an evangelist, whom knows Adobe's pro's and con's and now Microsoft's. I get paid to socialize this more in the field and on my blog, if it annoys Adobe staffers so be it but if it helps developers move forward, <highfive>.

Lastly, I finally can stop using WPF/e for once and for all. I can't tell you how this name annoyed me and before I close out, remember that there will not be a winner in this so called Adobe vs Microsoft battle.

I've got SilverLight, WPF, Expression, Apollo, Flex, Coldfusion, Java, .NET and ASP under my belt? does this make me weaker or stronger for the upcoming 5 years?

I say be agnostic.

There will be complaints I'm sure.

Comments (16)
  1. barry.b says:

    so it’s called "SilverLight", eh?

    wot, ‘coz it "Sparkles"?

  2. Diego says:

    On the topic of Silverlight vs Adobe. Why was this blog post taken down?

    Is this Microsoft censoring their bloggers or some other reason?

  3. Sbucklar says:

    Wait, are you saying that we should evaluate tools based on their capabilities and appropriateness rather then blind brand loyalty?

    Dude, thats crazy talk!

  4. Rosyna says:

    These articles mention Mac OS X support for Silverlight. They also mention VC-1. Microsoft doesn’t make a WMV codec for Mac OS X. And the current one by another company doesn’t support VC-1. (see which I think is VC-1, which doesn’t play on Mac OS X).

    Also, VC-1 support implies DRM support. There is currently no way to play DRM’d WMV or VC-1 on Mac OS X. And statements in the past indicate MS has no plans to license DRM support to Mac OS X developers or ship it themselves.

  5. CodeClimber says:

    WPF/E has name: Silverlight

  6. Jon Harris says:

    Rosyna you’ll be pleased to know that VC-1 support does comes to Mac OS X with Silverlight, as well as WMV7-9.

    Silverlight also supports DRM and again this works cross platform (Win/Mac). Just to be clear Silverlight has feature parity on Mac and Windows.

    You can get the full story from the FAQ


    Cheers Jon.

    Microsoft UXe.

  7. says:

    Brightcove is now planning to support Silverlight in addition to Flash video. I’m just posting this to give Ted Patrick and Scott Barnes the opportunity to have a "discussion" on the matter. 🙂 Back to Aftermix work, which yes, is…

  8. Diego says:

    Why wouldn’t someone think that Silverlight is going up against Adobe? The name, Silverlight, is after all a way someone could describe.. ummmm. lets see… a Flash? 🙂

  9. SilverLight (yuk, what a name!) has some interesting features but it is not yet very mature. However, the js bootstrapper that MS is shipping with their SDK is a big joke. These people have no clue whatsoever about JS nor DHTML. Maybe you can send them a copy of "JavaScript for Dummies"?

    And by the way how can someone design an API that has a method that takes a string, which is the name of a Function object in the global scope? It makes me think these guys never ever used JS (I’m talking about addEventListener here).

    And can you tell them that adding a label in front of a of a JS expression is pretty useless. I see this in their code from time to time "&lt;body onload=&quot;foobar:doSomething()&quot;&gt;

  10. Garry Trinder says:


    I got JavaScript for Dummies ages ago, I can’t find how its relevant hehehe.

    I’ll be sure to pass on your crit though, I’d love to also hear your thoughts on it when you get 1.0 (ie what you’re seeing now vs 1.0 is obviously different) (seriously, your thoughts above all are welcomed).

    The rest.. umm.. great… not sure how to respond 🙂


  11. Rosyna says:

    Jon Harris, so that means the only way to play WMV DRM’d content on the mac is via a browser and only on pages that use that specific Silverlight plugin? Or will MS suddenly start shipping a separate Windows Media Framework? The download for Mac OS X is said to only be 2 megs, which is not enough space to stick in a codec. Windows has the codec built-in which explains the small download size. There’s no reason to duplicate code that’s already shipped.

  12. brian says:

    Hmm "Flex Killer" maybe.

  13. Blogs says:

    My sixtieth podcast is up . We discuss &quot;Web 2.5&quot; as Silverlight (ne WPF/E) is announced. Seems

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