Microsoft Corp. released the beta for its rich Internet application (RIA) developer tool, Silverlight 2.0, in March. RIA developers blogged their thoughts on the product’s strength, and where it stands compared to rival Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash.
Pete Brown writes: “Don’t make the mistake of tossing Silverlight in the same bucket as Flash. While they definitely compete in some significant areas, and both have real strengths in different areas, Silverlight 2.0 was created from the ground-up to be an application development platform equally friendly to designers and developers. If you’re a .Net developer (or want to be), you’ll find the .Net framework included with Silverlight to be extremely capable and powerful.”
“But the real excitement is around the announcement that Nokia phones will soon support Silverlight applications! Not only did the desktop browser world just get a little brighter, now the whole mobile world is Silver”lit”!”
Although the true virtues of Silverlight will only reveal themselves with time, that doesn’t negate its rival, says Claus Topholt. “I think Silverlight is going to be extremely strong once it has gone through a maturing process. But don’t count out Adobe just yet… Adobe has, with a market leading PDF reader and image processing tools, shown that they have what it takes to understand market conditions and develop successful products year after year.”
Frank La Vigne said Microsoft’s push in the RIA space has lit the fire beneath Adobe. “Flash has had an effective monopoly on the Rich Internet Experience for about ten years. Innovation in the Flash space has been disappointingly slow, with much of the innovations in the past five years coming from 3rd party vendors… The entry of Microsoft into this space has already caused Adobe to dramatically lower the cost of their Flash Media Server.”
La Vigne adds: “Silverlight and Flash are different approaches to the same goal.”