Will the earth be bathed in Silverlight?

Microsoft's announcement of the new Silverlight technology yesterday sparked quite a debate in the office. Silverlight is the new name for the project which was previously referred to as WPF/E. Our senior Flash designer was adamant that Microsoft will have a hard time convincing hard-core Macromedia guys to make the switch. Here are a few reasons why I disagree:

  1. Flash developers have had their tools taken over by a different company, one which may not be headed in a direction that they are interested in.
  2. Whilst Flash has a pretty large market share at the moment, I have no doubts that Microsoft will be able to compete. If Microsoft pushes Silverlight through the automatic update process they will quickly enjoy a similar market share.
  3. Developers are rearely designers and vice-versa. How many times have you seen a beautiful piece of flash that behaves terribly because of some scripting error. You don't often see the reverse because developers steer clear of "designers toys". It seems clear that a separation of concerns is necessary here and that is exactly what Microsoft is intending to create.

The only remaining hurdle is that our designers hate the Microsoft Expression products. Admittedly they only played with betas, and hey guys, this is just round one. Soon some of the Expression series will become a part of our MSDN subscription so licensing and cost will soon become a compelling argument. As we move towards future versions of these products I think we are far more likely to get designers into Silverlight.

So about you? Will you install Silverlight? Will you create Silverlight apps? I know we will.

Posted by: Mike Minutillo
Last revised: 27 May, 2011 02:42 PM History


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