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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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Flash isnt good for websites anyway.
By Mitch101 on 4/18/2007 9:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
Flash isnt good for websites anyway as most search engines dont recognize it. While its pretty it wont get you any more traffic than a ugly site without flash. In fact the ugly site might get a higher ranking.

Good for advertising banners though and you know we all need more advertising on a site.

By adt6247 on 4/18/2007 5:04:28 PM , Rating: 3
Flash completely sucks for general web pages, not just because of lack of searchability, but also because it lacks the ability for deep linking and the like. Even flash-based navigation is kinda lame, as you can do most of what you'd what to with DHTML and JavaScript nowadays...

However, it's fantastic for components used on websites (YouTube, etc. comes to mind), specialized tools (Yahoo Maps), and certain applications. The biggest advantage of Flash vs. Java and other such things is that Flash player is everywhere! Over 96% of browsers have Flash player 8 or 9 installed.

I worked for a company that did Flash-based educational sessions, surveys, and whitepaper briefing tools. It works fantastic for them, as it's lightweight, cross-platform, and easy to deliver over a network, and really quick and easy to develop for. As much as I hate wrestling with its quirks, compiler bugs, etc., it's a really useful tool for a lot of jobs.

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