Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight. Adobe flash and Java JVM Killer???

This past year, I've spent a lot of time working with a wide variety of Rich Internet Technologies. In particular, Ajax (Dojo Toolkit, DWR, Prototype), and Ruby on Rails (yeah, I know, ROR is not specifically sold as a RIA platform, but it does incorporates Ajax seamlessly into the framework with partial templates, components, and readily available Prototype/ support).
  • Java Applets, and ActiveX are both dead (and should be buried)
To round out my understanding of the RIA space -- I'm ramping up with Adobe Flex. Adobe Flex is Adobe's enterprise web product that builds on top of Adobe Flash. Flex can be further extended through Adobe Apollo to build desktop apps.

So I thought -- these are the big players....I was hoping that this was all we will see in the near-term...


I've tinkered with a project from Microsoft called WPF/e several months ago, and I even invited Microsoft to demonstrate WPF/e at a conference I organized on March 1st. But at that time, it all felt very very beta. So its not necessarily new. But now, Microsoft has renamed WPF/e to Silverlight and TechCrunch is just gushing over it.

  • "...Silverlight will be the platform of choice for developers who build rich Internet applications..."
  • "...It makes Flash/Flex look like an absolute toy..."
  • "...Ajax looks like a bicycle next to a Ferrari when compared to Silverlight..."
From the Silverlight web-site:

Microsoft® Silverlight™ 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. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.
A portable Silverlight CLR run-time on Mac OS and Windows that can be used to play Rich Media (like videos) and build desktop applications? What's this going to mean to the Java JVM and Adobe Flash?

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