Microsoft "just" released Silverlight. What is Silverlight? To put it plainly - it is Microsoft idea of a Flash player, but instead displaying flash animation, video and applications, it plays WPF content (or more precisely what we used to call WPF/E).
Silverlight basically does the same as Flash. It allows you to create rich interactive applications and rich media content. It has direct support for Windows Media - just as Flash can play Flash Video. But, that is also where the similarities stop.
Silverlight is more like the web extension to all the new development and visual technologies coming from Microsoft.
Many people see this as a direct attack on Adobe's Flash dominance - and in a sense it is. But as Ryan Stewart wrote:
Adobe doesn't lose if Microsoft's Silverlight does well, just as Microsoft isn't going to lose if Apollo does well. But as both companies develop tools and ecosystems around Rich Internet Applications, developers, users, and designers win. Right now, with all the announcements and news, people are confusing technologies, talking about Silverlight versus Apollo when they don't even do the same things. As the news calms down, I hope we can all talk about building better tools, creating better experiences, and empowering developers.
I will write more about Silverlight and the other new technologies from Microsoft and Adobe in the future. It will be plain-language articles about what it is, how we can use it to create stunning user-experiences, and how it will affect the internet - instead of all this technical gibberish.
But, right now I have to learn more about it.
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