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Silverlight No Longer Adobe’s Challenge

Posted by Sravan | February 13, 2009 .

During the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology & Telecom Conference 2009 that took place on Tuesday, Mark Garrett, the Adobe CFO and EVP, expressed a surprisingly candid opinion that while Silverlight may have launched strongly a couple of years ago, the push to adoption “has really fizzled out in the last 6-9 months.”

True. It is widely acknowledged that Adobe has been the innovation leader in this area, and everybody has come to accept its “ubiquity”. The gap between Flash and Silverlight appears to be widening even though both have been gaining greater acceptance in absolute terms.

Microsoft on the other hand is known for its dogged tagging (along with lagging) more than its innovation. The huge base of .NET developers will also continue to be a strong point for Silverlight. Interestingly, in what appears to be a first for Microsoft, Moonlight – Silverlight for Linux – continues to make progress. Novell released Moonlight 1.0 a couple of days ago.

As Mr. Garrett said, the times are turbulent and one can’t be sure which side the wind blows. It is not necessarily the most technologically competent that always wins. The comments below the article about Mr. Garrett’s statements are quite interesting, mostly coming from pro-Silverlight people. And I didn’t know until now that some called Silverlight as Silverturd.

Have you read Charles’ thoughts about why Silverlight is lagging behind Flex?

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3 Comments so far
  1. Charles  February 13, 2009 10:30 am

    By diving into Silverlight lately, one thing becomes very clear to me is that there is absolutely no way a Flex developer will willingly convert to be Silverlight developer. That means Silverlight has very limited impact to existing Flex ecosystem.

    On the other hand, just hearing and seeing how excited the .NET developers bragging about the Silverlight state manager for styling, which is much simpler and can be done in CSS and be taken for granted in Flex for years, I know the .Net developer will not climb out of Microsoft well and embrace Flex easily.

    Therefore, Adobe Flex will continue growing and Silverlight will take .Net developers’ mind off Flex. In a way, Mark Garrett was right.

  2. Thomas Petersen  February 15, 2009 4:29 am

    Having lots of developers is NOT what the RIA game is all about.

    It’s about having designers. MS Expression is not even available for OS X, the platform, most creative people swear to.

    If having lots of developers where the point then Silverlight would have been a much greater success way before.

    Adobe won this one.

  3. Dev  February 19, 2009 8:48 pm

    A successful technology comes up with many factors, technical foundation, developer and designer community, tools, learning resources and market.

    For Silverlight, technical foundation is .NET or WPF, developer community is .NET developers, designer community is none, tools are limited to Expression series (very limited collaboration of other MS products), learning resources is okay but not so many, market is still growth but very slow.

    For Flex, technical foundation is Flex Framework, LiveCycle Data Services (and many alternative options), Flash, Flash Player and AIR APIs. The developer community is active and somewhat well-established, designer community is very active, very royal and indeed very contributive. Almost all tools from adobe products (excepted those for technical writing) are related to Flex development, learning resources are numerous, market is well-growth and got an impressive market share.

    To my conclusion, the Silverlight is overwhelmed due to its obscure future and Microsoft failed to offer enough incentive to encourage the wide adoption of Silverlight.


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