Linked by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:13 UTC
In the News Those up top (the Presidential Inaugural Committee) chose to utilize Microsoft's Silverlight technology to stream the upcoming inaugural events for the new president of the United States. Though Microsoft certainly likes this idea, this leaves out thousands of people in the US and elsewhere who still cannot run Silverlight or an open source alternative on their systems from viewing the streamed video online. Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight. Migel De Icaza wrote: "Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight." Microsoft and the Moonlight team fixed this issue in one afternoon, so it might be a little rough.
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Don't worry about it. If MS plays their games of old, they'll shoot themselves in the foot.

The web is fully open, and people who develop for it, and use it (of course), expect things to be open and cross platform.

If MS plays games, they'll marginalize Silverlight. The competition is very fierce. Flex/Flash has a huge lead and head start, it's fully open (open source initiative, anyone can do their own implementation), and fully cross platform. Same with Java/JavaFX. Same with Ajax. Same with OpenLazlo. And on and on.

If MS ties Silverlight too tightly to Windows, and doesn't fully support their own Mac version, and doesn't support the Mono implementation, nobody will use Silverlight, except for existing ASP.Net developers (because it's in their comfort zone), and except for sites that MS pays to use Silverlight.

So far, MS has been paying it's way to Silverlight marketshare, and it's still far behind Flex and Ajax. And JavaFX is coming on.

I've been playing around with Silverlight, using Visual Web Developer Express and the Silverlight tools. I'm impressed. But alas I probably wouldn't choose to use it for any web project because the tools are tightly tied to Windows, and I'm not fully convinced about the Mono implementation. I think I'm pretty typical. So don't worry about it.

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