Print 26 comment(s) - last by ekv.. on Nov 12 at 4:09 AM

Adobe's transition to HTML5 may force Microsoft to expedite its own plans

Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) shocked the world when it announced that it would be terminating its development of Mobile Flash in order to focus its efforts on HTML5 solutions, like developer tools.  While Adobe still remains very committed to Flash on the PC -- officially at least -- the move signals a shift at the top internet multimedia firm from a proprietary standard to a standard that is at least partially open (the degree of openness depends largely on the codecs for video and audio selected in the particular flavor of HTML5).

In the wake of that announcement, reports are coming in that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may be preparing to terminate development on its Silverlight rich multimedia platform to focus on its own HTML5 efforts.

For those unfamiliar, Silverlight is basically a would-be Flash.  Launched in 2007, the platform grew to incorporate developer tools, plugins, and support for advanced features like streaming content.  While the platform has seen modest success, it's never caught on to the extent of Flash.

Silverlight 5, the latest version of the platform, is due to land sometime this month.  But it's unclear whether any browsers outside of Microsoft Internet Explorer -- still the most used browser in the world -- will be supported.  And its equally unclear if Silverlight 6 will ever see the light of day.

While Microsoft initially pushed hard to incorporate the platform onto its diverse plethora of consumer electronics -- including the Zune HD, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360 -- a report by Electronista cites sources as saying it has since scaled back the effort, reducing the size of the Silverlight team.


While Silverlight may indeed get the ax (Microsoft even acknowledges that HTML5 is "the future"), its legacy will live on in certain increasingly popular web technologies, like the XAML pseudo-standard.

Comments Andrew Brust, a Microsoft Regional Director and founder of Blue Badge Insights in an interview with ZDNet, "It's pretty clear to me that the principles of Silverlight, including the use of XAML as a markup language, C# and VB .NET as programming languages, a streamlined .NET CLR (Common Language Runtime) profile, packaged deployment over HTTP and a sandboxed security environment, are alive and well in the native XAML/.NET approach to developing Metro-style apps on Windows 8. It may not be not Silverlight to the letter, but it's Silverlight in spirit and natively supported by the operating system to boot."

In other words, if Silverlight is about to die, it will live on its legacy.

Sources: Electronista, ZDNet

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RE: Windows Phone ?
By B3an on 11/10/2011 12:36:23 AM , Rating: 5 inferior.

Harder to make content with. Performance is worser. Coding languages are less efficient and less powerful. Developer tools are literally 10+ years behind (Adobe's HTML5 dev tool called "Edge" is where Flash was in 1998 in terms of features and capability). And the standard isn't even finalised.

MS supporting HTML5 for Metro app creation for Win 8 is a stupid move, when this OS will be running on way more mobile devices that need high performance and real coding languages to get the most out of hardware and battery life, HTML5/JavaScript is only going to drain the battery faster while at the same time performing worser. As anyone here will tell you who actually does real coding, JavaScript does not remotely begin to compare to things like .NET, C or even ActionScript. Seriously, go look at the very best HTML5 games and apps around, then compare them to the best Silverlight or Flash stuff... the difference is like comparing Windows 3.1 to Windows 8.

The web and now OS programs are going backwards and taking battery life, capabilities, and performance with it. Funny how all the HTML5 supporters are alwayas people who dont now anything about this stuff isn't it... I hope all the you HTML5 supporting morons like using basic slow and buggy apps and websites that may or may not work correctly depending on your browser, because thats what the future holds.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By gladiatorua on 11/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phone ?
By ekv on 11/10/2011 6:18:46 AM , Rating: 3
Flash - not so much. It just started to look promising.
Blech. Adobe is crap for security, amongst other complaints.
I doubt Windows8 will be very successful.
One of the things that bothers me about MSFT is that they've got pokers in a lot of fires. If Silverlight is deprecated then that's one less poker to worry about, and from a developers perspective that helps. Of course, that means MSFT will create another poker [new and improved, etc.] that we'll have to learn and the shoot-and-cover / keep-'em-moving strategy continues.

The flip side is MSFT has a lot of pokers/fires. Meaning that PC's and even tablets aren't all that W8 addresses. Though expect to see good x86 tablets at the next CES (running W8). There are other compelling reasons, e.g. integrating numerous platforms. And other breakthrough technologies existing right now that simply aren't being marketed. I hope MSFT doesn't borrow the Apple marketing strategy [though the legal dept seems to be following suit, if you'll pardon the pun].

RE: Windows Phone ?
By Da W on 11/10/2011 9:10:52 AM , Rating: 1
Though expect to see good x86 tablets at the next CES (running W8)

Low power dual core ivy bridge tablets to be precise.
Or quad core bobcat with a killer GPU.
Any geek proud of his tegra 3 androoid tablet will wet his pants.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By curelom on 11/10/2011 11:12:12 AM , Rating: 3
x86 tablet

Windows 8 will work on ARM processors as well.

If Windows 8 won't be very successful, it will still outsell Apple computers by a long shot.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By gladiatorua on 11/11/2011 9:40:01 AM , Rating: 1
W8 for ARM will not support good old x86 apps. Big chunk of those apps support skins or can be easily modified for tablet GUI. That's a big advantage.
Look at WP7. Is it bad? No. But still it has abysmal market share.
As for PCs, I don't see that many reasons to upgrade from W7.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By ekv on 11/12/2011 4:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
W8 for ARM will not support good old x86 apps.
As stated by MSFT. Though considering there is an XP compatibility option in W7, it seems that, while the technical aspects of running x86 on another ISA are excruciating, there is a business opportunity for somebody.
As for PCs, I don't see that many reasons to upgrade from W7.
Ok, I'll bite. Let me flip your statement around a bit and ask, what are some reasons you would upgrade from W7?

RE: Windows Phone ?
By BugblatterIII on 11/10/2011 4:10:56 AM , Rating: 3
I think part of the problem has been the media's line of "HTML5 can stream video, so why do you need Flash?"

That's helpe to make the public perception that Flash is becoming irrelevant.

The media has always described Silverlight as Microsoft's Flash, so it's been tarred with the same brush. That's a shame; if it had reached Flash's penetration it could have really made an impact.

I'm a .NET guy and it would have been fantastic to be able to use it for the commercial websites I work on; however I couldn't turn away 30% of customers (or justify writing essentially a second site to cater for them).

Problem is HTML5 doesn't have sufficient penetration to replace Flash right now, and won't have for a long time to come.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By GPig on 11/10/2011 8:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
Killing the silverlight plugin for browsers is a good thing - it never got enough market penetration.

However, the XAML language is still going to be prevalent in Microsoft products through WPF (windows applications), Windows Phones silverlight implementation and the new Win 8 Metro XAML applications.

With regard to Win 8's metro apps - HTML5 and java script aren't a problem and won't run slow. They don't run in a browser, they compile in the same way the XAML/.NET apps do and run on winRT. It's no different to writing C# or VB.NET - it compiles to exactly the same MSIL code. The point is to attract web developers to program apps for Win 8 by allowing them to use the languages they already know.

RE: Windows Phone ?
By Da W on 11/10/2011 9:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 will run both HTML5 / Javascript and .Net code. It's not a problem to support additonal languages.

Windows phone 7 does not lift off (you can't find any in Canada right now) and my guess is it will be replaced by a striped down version of Windows 8 next year.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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