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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 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?

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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