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Will Flex Survives the Y!Microsoft marriage?

Posted by Charles | February 1, 2008 .

image Will Flex Survives the Y!Microsoft marriage? Microsoft proposed,
Yahoo pondering,
The price tag hangs
bigger than the ring,
Flashed with love
My dear, let’s together go green.


There is this thing called “ripple effect”. If this marriage indeed happened, what will trickle to the RIA space? Let’s put some thoughts here.

First all, to RIA in general, we won’t see too much of changes except the RIA continues going mainstream. The awareness and application of RIA will be way out of the niche category. We will continue observing intense competition in the RIA software development tool, platform, services and deployment areas.

However, from specific RIA player perspective, the landscape might be changed. As we all know, Yahoo has been in the Adobe Flash camp for a long time. Yahoo’s Flex 1.5 based Yahoo!Map had bee cheered by us Flex advocates from the very beginning. Even though, recently Yahoo replaced the Flex Yahoo map with AJAX implementation, Yahoo’s Flash Developer Center is thriving. It just released new version of the ASTRA Flash components lib a few das ago. It’s obvious Yahoo is adjusting the strategy of using RIA technologies, where lightweight AJAX is the framework of yahoo web sites and media/UI rich Flash/Flex as interface components. I believe it’s a good strategy to Yahoo and RIA too. Having said that, the new (if it will) Y!M combo will certainly shake the boat. You guessed right, Silverlight won’t wait to long to have a taste among Yahoo’s vast among of playgrounds. I wouldn’t think they will throw the Flash Developer Center out of the door right away, but a Silverlight Developer Center or some sort is a must. Very soon, all the media contents will be distributed via Silverlight player, replace Flash player. That along will save Microsoft lots of money that they are spending now to sigh agreements with giant media web site to do just that.

Who owns the data and data distribution channels rules. Google bought Youtube for just that reason. For Microsoft, they want the channels made of Microsoft too, only because it happens it’s still a software company too.

Let’s don’t stop from here. Talking about business, I don’t think either Flex or Silverlight alone is making money for their respective owners. The money resides at server side. The Enterprise RIA is the ultimate battle ground. That’s where Adobe should be worried and it’s where will determine how Flash based technologies (Flex, AIR, Lite, etc) will evolve towards bad or good direction. I don’t think Adobe will ever be able to challenge Microsoft at server side in the conventional software development platform way. If you look at the silverlight from the whole Microsoft development stack perspective,  it’s quite a small subset. So, how Adobe deals with its technologies such LifeCycle DS will be very critical. “Can’t beat it, Open source it” is a strategy widely used in the software industry nowaday. Adobe went that route and has been successfully with Flex. Therefore, I can see there will be more open in the RIA world down the road, which is good to developers.

Besides all these, there might be pressure building up from Y!M to end Adobe’s single live. That will be big and interesting, isn’t it?

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2 Comments so far
  1. guya  February 2, 2008 8:06 am

    Yahoo is already a big user of Microsoft WPF:
    It’ll definitely be an important move for Microsoft in term of it’s Silverlight adoption.

  2. Gabriele  February 21, 2008 2:44 am

    I am following your interesting articles about RIA environments, I really like them.

    You are right when you say that Adobe can’t challenge Microsofts server platform, that will be the main battleground surely.

    But Adobe is going to expand his Server solutions with Live Cycle DS which should not be underestimated, because the PDF format is still an important format for document exchange.

    The next interesting point will be the join of the Java FX technologies.

    Best Regards,


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