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Microsoft launches Silverlight (formerly WPF/E) to compete with Flash

In hopes to make a dent in the market dominance of Adobe’s Flash, Microsoft unveiled at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference a new cross-browser, cross-platform browser plug-in called Silverlight.

Previously called Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), Silverlight works with on both Macintosh and Windows with a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.  Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Silverlight enables developers and designers to use existing skills and tools: for designers, Microsoft Expression Studio, and for developers, Visual Studio.

Silverlight uses Windows Media Video (WMV) and Microsoft’s implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard to deliver video files can that scale from mobile devices to full-screen high-definition displays.

One such interested party in Microsoft’s internet video solution may be Netflix, which announced its on-demand video service earlier this year. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings joined Microsoft’s board of directors just last month.

“Netflix needs rapid and reliable scalability so all members can enjoy DVD-quality movies immediately on our instant-viewing feature,” said Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt. “We depend on Microsoft Windows Media technologies, and we’re excited about Microsoft Silverlight as a platform to enable instant watching of great content for all our members, on multiple platforms.”

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What about Linux ?
By LogicallyGenius on 4/18/2007 7:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
Seems like MS dont want Linux,

If thats the case then Flash wins.

RE: What about Linux ?
By Niv KA on 4/18/2007 7:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
Thats what I was about to post... No Linux, and it's not really more competition like we want.

In a way, the lack of Linux support in products with Mac support could be because Microsoft is scared of competition from Linux more than it is scared of Apple. Anyone else come to this conclusion ?... or do you think its just that there aren't enough Linux users to support?... (We are about 30 million people, according to Novell, so we are a big group...)

RE: What about Linux ?
By Niv KA on 4/18/2007 7:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
And by the way, although I do dislike Microsoft I am not a "M$ sucks" kind of Microsoft hater...

PS: I remember reading somewhere that there is an OSS alternative being developed, but I don't remember for sure...

- Niv K Aharonovich
Computer Obsessed and Proud

RE: What about Linux ?
By phatboye on 4/18/2007 9:14:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's not like Macromedia/Adobe has had a good record with bringing a flash player to *nix boxes. How many years did it take for them to update flash to version 9 for *nix. Not to mention that there still isn't a 64-bit version at all for windows or linux (at least I have not seen it yet).

Quite frankly I'm glad neither company cares about the linux crowd. There is nothing more annoying than flash ads and pop-ups. And thankfully since I am running a 64-bit version of linux I won't have to be bothered with those for a long time.

RE: What about Linux ?
By Hare on 4/18/2007 8:55:15 AM , Rating: 4
In a way, the lack of Linux support in products with Mac support could be because Microsoft is scared of competition from Linux more than it is scared of Apple.

I really doubt that. The truth is that desktop linux users are a small group and when new technology is introduced it's pretty obvious that you want to concentrate on market share instead of pleasing every small group. I would personally like to see a linux version.

RE: What about Linux ?
By chalkbolg on 4/18/2007 9:06:34 AM , Rating: 2
Assuming Linux desktop is a determining factor assumes the desktop OS is what will drive adoption. This technology as well as flash depends on server side technologies in most cases. MS has build this on .Net technology and 70%+ of all Web and Application servers are Linux. Does anyone seriously believe that Google or Amazon is going to migrate their server s to Windows to support this?

The development community will determine adoption rates on this technology and there is nothing in this that goes beyond current capabilities. Developers will use what they know unless it offers new capabilities.

RE: What about Linux ?
By Spivonious on 4/18/2007 1:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
Unless I'm mistaken, isn't this a client-side item? That way it wouldn't matter what the server was running.

RE: What about Linux ?
By Sunday Ironfoot on 4/18/2007 4:22:09 PM , Rating: 2
No you are not mistaken. Silverlight is a client-side technology, you can run anything on the server you want.

RE: What about Linux ?
By mforce on 4/18/2007 12:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't think Linux desktops are a that small group and although it's not growing fast the Linux market share is growing. Sure it's mostly used by pros and you'll see mare Macs in the US for instance but Linux is here to stay.
MS can afford to ignore it for now but they do know it's out there. Apple is easier to deal with and it's something they can always hunt down and destroy. For now MS is satisfied to sell their products for OS X and make some more $. Linux is more dangerous on the other hand, and Linux users tend to like open source and free products more than commercial software.
To be honest though Linux isn't that easy to support because it comes with a couple of hundred of distros.
Microsoft, just make an open source version that can be ported to Linux or at least release the full specs and you'll have my respect.

RE: What about Linux ?
By aftlizard01 on 4/18/2007 4:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Linux will explode in usage with the übercheap laptops for the third world program. When those little kids using linux grow up they aren't going to jump to the MS they will most likely stick with what they know.

Then again I grew up indoctrinated in the world of Apple at school, and now I prefer pc's so my opinion is probably squat.

RE: What about Linux ?
By Sunday Ironfoot on 4/18/2007 4:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
MS have said previously that there will be a Linux version just that they won't be the one's making it. Instead they will contract out third parties to implement it. Similar to what they did with .NET (eg. Mono on Linux).

RE: What about Linux ?
By Byte on 4/19/2007 1:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
Silverlight really has potential. It can scale to gigapixels without choking at all. Unlike flash which starts dying anything VGA+ resolution.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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