Microsoft is all set for a headon clash with Adobe Flex using its new Silverlight technology to build rich applications on web. Kurtz writes with word that Microsoft is about to follow in Adobe’s footsteps by releasing the source code to part of its Silverlight technology. The news comes less than a week after Adobe announced plans to open source the Flex SDK. Microsoft is hungry to build the developer base for its rich Internet app tools, if it can.
Wired.com Writes “Not to be outdone by Adobe’s announcement of a desktop media player, Microsoft has unveiled its long rumored Flash competitor, Silverlight. Silverlight is new browser plug-in (formerly known by the awkward name, Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere) scheduled for release as a public beta at the upcoming Mix07 conference later this month.
Silverlight is a media player that can run web applications on both Windows and the Mac in IE, Firefox and Safari (Opera users are apparently out of luck).
As with Adobe’s Flash, Silverlight will also have development tools for designers and developers to create embedded content.
While Microsoft claims Silverlight is a better way to embed the Windows Media Video format in the browser, with the majority of web users already able to access media, like YouTube videos, via Flash, Microsoft may face an uphill battle trying to win over users.
On the plus side, Silverlight will reportedly be a paltry 2MB download.
Silverlight will also feature tight integration with Microsoft’s .NET platform, enabling developers to apply their existing .NET knowledge to web video.
The other advantage Microsoft is touting for Silverlight over Adobe’s Flash player is the use of vector graphics which allows for better video resolution during full screen playback.
With Adobe moving onto the desktop and Microsoft taking on the browser there’s no doubt that a showdown is in the works. The success of either will likely depend on which platform can transition more users in the respective directions.
Given the failure of past browser plug-ins and the existing dominance of Flash video, Adobe seems to have the easier task ahead, but it’s still to early to say who will come out on top in this one.
We’ll be sure to give the lowdown on Silverlight as soon as the beta is available.“