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Something to think about... / blog
The Silverlight Download Marathon

Written by on September 5, 2007

Today Microsoft released Silverlight 1.0 (final version), which isn't that spectacular since the version we need is actually Silverlight 1.1 (coming out later).But, since I am "fiddling" with Silverlight I immediately went to download the latest version - and that turn out to be a bit of a marathon.

I started out on the MSDN page - and clicked on the link "Download the final release of Silverlight 1.0"

I kind of expected then to be taken directly to the download page. I wasn't - instead I ended up on a generic Silverlight download page. So I clicked on the download link "Silverlight 1.0" again assuming that I would now be able to download the product.

I wasn't.

Now I was taken what appeared to be the final download page, where I could choose between a Windows and a Mac version (BTW: Linux is coming later).

With strong anticipation that this would the last click, I clicked on "Download Silverlight 1.0 for Windows"

...and ended up on the public Silverlight site, where I could again choose between either a Windows or a Mac version... At this point a small but annoyed sound came out trough my teeth. I quickly click on the Windows icon - assuming that meant "Download"

...and the page did nothing but refresh itself and display the exact same page - just with a different background color (notice the URL change). WTH?

Out of pure devotion and dedication to Microsoft Silverlight I click the link one more time - instead of just leaving the site while saying "the hell with it!" like everyone else would have done at this stage.

I was immediately awarded with a new download page - taunting me with a button saying "Install Now" - YES DAMMIT!!! - you should have installed "NOW" 6 pages ago.

It worked. Finally after a marathon of pages, clicks, frustrations, anger and a number of other emotions - I now have Silverlight 1.0 on my computer.

There are a number of important lessons to be learned here:

  1. Never - EVER - make a link that doesn't take you where it says it will
  2. Never create multiple pages that does the same thing
  3. Focus on 1-click satisfaction. Give people what they need from the start.

Like this:

You do not actually need to choose operating system because the link above auto-detects your OS and downloads the right version automatically.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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