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Little Demand Yet For Silverlight Developers 314

Posted by kdawson
from the they-can-afford-to-wait dept.
ericatcw writes "At its Mix08 Web development conference, Microsoft said that its Silverlight rich Internet application platform is downloaded and installed an average of 1.5 million times every day; Microsoft has a goal of 200 million installs by midyear. But Silverlight is at the beginning of a long slog towards gaining traction. Computerworld did a quick analysis of job listings at nine popular career sites and found that an average of 41 times more ads mentioned Adobe's Flash than mentioned Silverlight. As expected only 6 months after Silverlight's introduction, the number of programming books carried on Amazon.com was also heavily skewed in favor of Flash."
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Little Demand Yet For Silverlight Developers

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  • Why switch? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@uberm00. n e t> on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:23AM (#22675488) Homepage Journal
    Why should I, as a Flash developer / animator, move to a less stable, less well-known, less-compatible platform from one that is stable, has many developers, is cross-platform (mostly), and can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?

    Not that I am a Flash developer (at least, I haven't been for a while), it's just a hypothetical.

    I think the answer for Microsoft is "because we need you to help us create another hook to keep people on Windows." Linux beta, eh? I'll believe it when I see it.
    • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kurokaze (221063) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:28AM (#22675544)
      I think more to the point is that Silverlight has been out less than a year, and yet Computerworld somehow thinks that there's going to be lots of books and job demand for it?? Oh brother.

      What's a job posting going to say? Wanted: Experienced Silverlight Developer, must have 3+ yrs experience even though the product itself has been out less than a year.

    • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:36AM (#22675664) Journal

      can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?

      Well, if I'm reading right, Silverlight lets you program it in pretty much any .NET language. That's something Flash doesn't do -- yet -- although they are coordinating with Mozilla to develop a common runtime which would make JavaScript fast, and also support other languages.

      I would much rather see both of them go away, though. SVG and JavaScript, please.

    • by plague3106 (71849)
      Well, last I heard Flash can't do HD streaming. From my point of view, why would I use Silverlight 2.0? Because I'll be able to build a SL application exactly as I already build Windows or Asp.Net applications. Same tools, same languages and most of the same library (SL will use a subset).

      Also, SL is supposed to be cross platform. We'll have to see, but SL 2 is supposed to be a huge step forward.

      Personally, from what I know of Flash is that it's a scripted OO hacked together language. No thanks. That'
    • by Xiaran (836924)
      This is going to show my age, but I recall the same argument for MS Visual C/C++ versus Borland. I was one of the Borland people... if youll excuse me I have to get back to Visual Studio 2008 :)
      • by bunratty (545641)
        A different compiler for the same language is one thing. Silverlight is like a completely new language. This is like Microsoft introducing C# when we already have C++ and Java.
        • This is like Microsoft introducing C# when we already have C++ and Java.

          And yet, despite having years of experience with all three of those languages, I prefer to work in C# when possible. I also believe that competition from C# is pushing Java to become better now in a way that it wasn't when it had no real competition for the kinds of applications for which Java is a good choice.

          Probably in 5 years Java will have improved to the point that it's my choice for most business applications again. In a world
          • by bunratty (545641)
            I never said Microsoft should have come out with Silverlight, or that competition is bad. That would be silly. I was just making the point that Silverlight is incompatible with Flash at the source code level. It's not like a different compiler or a different player for the same language.
      • by oliderid (710055)
        I'm involved in e-marketing campaigns and public web sites and rarely for intranet project.

        first: I'm not a mac fanboy nevertheless I can't see myself selling a web site totally incompatible with Mac....What can justify that you may lose +/- 5% of your audience (and potential sells) because of this technical choice? On the marketing/communication side there is no justification.

        Another example: I work for communication agencies as a technical subcontractor...They almost all have Macs instead of windows. So p
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:55AM (#22675904) Journal
      I'm not preaching that Silverlight holds the answers, or anything remotely like that. But in MANY people's opinions, Flash technology has really "dropped the ball" when it comes to keeping up with the times.

      When I first remembered it gaining in popularity, people were simply fascinated by the new-found ability to make web sites look more sophisticated and polished. You could do photo-realistic animations with your menus, have 3D fonts moving about the screen without having to render them ahead of time, trying to scale/size them for the page you were going to paste them in, etc.

      In the present, most people take a "been there, seen that" attitude towards Flash-heavy web pages. They look for the "skip" button as soon as one opens up, because they know the real "content" isn't going to be found in waiting for the bar graph to finish loading to 100% completion, only to hear some techno music playing behind a big video with the corporate logo spinning around. The places where I see Flash used today tend to be interactive games, such as the children's games developed for sites like pbskids.org or nickjr.com.

      In this arena, Flash may still be "king" - but it sure isn't giving a stable experience! I have a 5 year old, so I know! She loves playing the mini-games on these web sites, but I'm constantly hearing, "Dad!! Help! It stopped working!", only to go over to the PC and find it frozen up, or the arrow keys unresponsive in the game. Usually, I have to refresh the whole thing, losing her position in the game. Sometimes, the whole browser has to be closed and restarted.

      It's even worse if you're not using the "preferred platform" of a Windows box running Internet Explorer 7.

      Adobe long ago dropped support for their Flash player for classic MacOS, for example. Sure, it's an "outdated" platform, but an awful lot of old iMac G3's and G4's are still out there being used as "kid's computers", so this is a place where a current Flash player would still get a lot of use! They still have no Flash player developed for Apple's iPhone either, and that's an example of a NEW device they should have been on top of from the start.

      They're certainly making a great case for themselves that somebody ELSE needs to come along with a competing product!
      • Yup. Reminds me of the early web pag days remember, when a 'site' had a 'Entry tunnel' and a 'Exit tunnel'.
        And everyone just bookmarked the important 'site' page that had the relavent info?

        Same thing, except these days when a site informs me "Flash is Required to View this Site"
        I backspace to Google and find a 'Less Stupid' company.

        Oh look, theres another BRILLIANT idea for Google....they could mark site 'Flash Only' in the summary, then I could avoid them all together.

    • by bunratty (545641)
      More to the point, why should anyone who has a website develop content for Silverlight instead of Flash? Flash is already well deployed, and Adobe has an interest in maintaining Flash players for multiple operating systems. Silverlight is not only barely deployed, but would seem that Microsoft would have an interest in developing players that run only on Windows, and perhaps only on Internet Explorer, once Silverlight becomes popular.
    • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SharpFang (651121) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:57AM (#22675938) Homepage Journal
      Because Flash can't do 3D.

      At least, can't do sufficiently advanced 3D with sufficient performance.

      Is it worth it? I don't know, really. But it's easy to miss the point when a technology turns from 'mature' to 'obsolete' and from 'experimental' to 'cutting edge'.

      COBOL programmers kept smirking at JAVA developers too.
      • by Zadaz (950521)
        Web based 3D has been tried and failed many times. I should know, I have been asked to participate in at least three major "3D web" implementations, all of which where hyped initially (Most as "Web 2.0") but have all gone down the digital drainpipe.

        I suppose that it could just be my fault, but seriously: Leave 3d to the game developers. They have the resources, experience and tools, and even they can't get it right most of the time.
    • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:12PM (#22676100)
      Why?

      1) Performance features - for example an application in silverlight that pulls HD image formats in small chunks, allowing you to zoom into 100mb images instantly. (This is just one example)

      2) HD Video - that is VC1 compliant as well. Also the ability to support live and multi-cast streaming of HD Video (great for lowbandwidth servers hosting live events, and still providing an HD video of the event.)

      3) Easier - By the nature of how Silverlight is designed it is easier to design for and work with. You are basically just managaging Vista type XAML from WPF. No secret formats, etc.

      4) Agnostic programming - Silverlight you not only get a rich vector/bitmap based environment, but it is completely language agnostic and you can use anything from C# to VB to Python.

      5) Web Page interoperability - Silverlight is designed to within the context of the Web Page. For example you could hvae 10 Silverlight buttons on the page, and they are all separate from each otehr, but tied together via common code in JScript. This would be 'heavy' to do in Flash, and it wouldn't be easy to split the buttons apart, so you would ahve to design all the buttons in one Flash control, consuming the page with Plash, instead of just working with the page. Think of Silverlight as a cool new picture type that is also programmable, handles events, and animation when used like this.

      6) Features - Silverlight 1.0 is on par with Flash in terms of features, and has several Flash just cannot do. Silverlight 2.0 brings in a whole set of .NET controls, etc that surpass anything Flash can do.

      7) Back to Performance - Flash is a dog on non-Windows OSes. So far Silverlight is showing to be semi-equally fast on Windows and OS X, with low memory consumption on both. The same Flash applet running on Windows could use a couple of MB and running on OS X jump to 30MB and peg the CPU. Flash is NOT as crossplatform as developers would like to lead people to believe because of performance issues like this.

      8) Security - Silverlight is more secure than Flash (see recent Flash updates), the reason Silverlight is more secure because it runs inside an additional sandbox and is also managed code, it is .NET based.

      9) Structure XAML - The nature of how Silverlight is designed is based on Vista's WPF/XAML system. Vista uses XAML from everything from on screen display to printing (XAML is like OS X's Display PDF but with a chunk more features.) This means that Windows developers can easily move from Windows programming .NET 3.0 to Silverlight or the other way around. The XAML construct is also very intelligently designed, as it is more than just a graphical description format, as it has inherent events and animations, where Display PDF (or SVG as some like to compare) is inherently a static graphical format with no concept of advanced layers, animations, hit testing, events, etc. (As printing technology moves to eInk that is dynamic, XAML is ready to print to and produce output on these devices already, even though this is a years off concept.)

      Microsoft is also working to get the Linux version of Silverlight going by working with the Mono peeps, and Microsoft is also fully producing the OS X version as well as supporting as many browsers as they can at the same time, including Firefox, etc. So if this was MS trying to lock people in, it would be Windows and IE only, instead it has potential to be far more crossplatform than Flash. (Microsoft also just announced Silverlight for non Windows Mobile phones to be an alternative to Flash Lite.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bunratty (545641)

        So if this was MS trying to lock people in, it would be Windows and IE only, instead it has potential to be far more crossplatform than Flash.
        If I were trying to lock people in, I would develop the technology for all popular platforms at first. After it became very popular, I would slowly drop support for platforms other than my own, first Linux, then Mac, then non-IE browsers.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TheNetAvenger (624455)
          If I were trying to lock people in, I would develop the technology for all popular platforms at first. After it became very popular, I would slowly drop support for platforms other than my own, first Linux, then Mac, then non-IE browsers

          Ok, first, lol...

          Actually the main reason Microsoft is assisting with the Linux Mono development of .NET and Silverlight for Linux is to help keep it 100% OSS on Linux.

          If MIcrosoft developed it themselves, it would be a conflict of licensing issues. However, by MS just 'help
      • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Snover (469130) on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:35PM (#22678328) Homepage
        You've written a nice list, but I just don't see anything on it that's really, well, valid.

        1) As far as performance in general is concerned, ActionScript 3 is extremely fast [oddhammer.com]. Though I definitely wouldn't say the same about ActionScript 2, it's not fair to compare an old version of Flash against a recent version of Silverlight.

        2) Flash Player 9 Update 3, which was released in December of last year, supports H.264 and HE-AAC.

        3) Flex uses a similar XML-based format called MXML for describing applications. Of course, "easier" is relative -- I'm sure if you've been working as a Windows programmer forever it's easier, but maybe not for someone that isn't used to how Microsoft does things. Also, what's a "secret format" that Flash has? The entire SWF specification is open (well, except to use to build a Flash player, which is pretty stupid), and ActionScript is based on the ECMAScript specification.

        4a) Flash has a "rich vector/bitmap based environment" (whatever that means -- it can draw on bitmaps and do transformations and effects, and it can draw vector shapes), and has since forever. How is this any worse than what Silverlight has (speaking as someone that has not used Silverlight)?

        4b) No, you can't use any language you want, but I don't necessarily see this as a huge advantage, since it adds an amount of additional complexity that could easily be problematic. You can't ask for "a Silverlight" programmer, now you have to ask for "a Silverlight programmer that also knows Python/C#/whatever" -- this will really narrow your potential hiring pool.

        5) Flash has ExternalInterface which provides 100% seamless interaction between Flash and JavaScript, and is hardly "heavy".

        6) Have you even looked at what Flash provides lately? ActionScript 3 is an extremely capable language. Without giving any specific examples of features that don't/can't exist in Flash, but that do in Silverlight, it's hard to respond to this. Provide an example and we'll talk.

        7) I've not personally experienced performance issues with Flash applications on OS X, but YMMV. Since I don't use Windows, it's hard for me to say if something runs more slowly than it would on a Windows box, but I never ran anything that seemed slow or that pegged my CPU. I've heard that it's slower on PPC architectures, but Windows never ran on PPC to begin with, so who knows how Flash would run on Windows if there were a PPC version. I've never ever run a Silverlight application, so I can't confirm your allegation that it works better, either.

        8) Can you provide a specific example of how the security model of Silverlight is more any more secure? Flash code runs in a sandboxed virtual machine ("managed code" for non-Microsofties out there) too, and has since the beginning of time. Saying "see recent Flash updates" just says to me that Adobe has addressed potential security issues that may have existed, and hardly damns the platform as being somehow tragically insecure. (And, in fact, the recent security updates to Flash are nothing more than hardening against some potential XSS attacks.)

        9) Sounds like MXML, again. Don't repeat yourself, you already mentioned XAML once. ;) Talking about "Display PDF" as if it were some markup language makes no sense, too, since Display is an application for viewing PDF files -- nothing more.

        Now, I'm certainly no Flash apologist -- up until about a month ago I refused to touch it, and ActionScript 2 is unbelievably shitty -- and certainly if we were comparing against Flash 8 or earlier running ActionScript 2 you'd have some valid points, but nothing on your list actually seems to me to be a valid reason why Silverlight is better than Flash here and now. And again, despite your protests that Microsoft is developing an OS X version of Silverlight, and is working with Mono to develop a Linux version, they have not been above releasing software for platforms and then dropping it without cause in the past, and I haven't seen them changing their colours.

        Regards,
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Haeleth (414428)

        Microsoft is also working to get the Linux version of Silverlight going by working with the Mono peeps, and Microsoft is also fully producing the OS X version as well as supporting as many browsers as they can at the same time, including Firefox, etc. So if this was MS trying to lock people in, it would be Windows and IE only, instead it has potential to be far more crossplatform than Flash.

        Funny that you should mention IE. See, if you remember, back when IE was new, that was cross-platform too. It was gr

    • *sigh* Silverlight IS cross platform. It works in Opera, FireFox, IE on PC and Mac (don't know about Linux). As to the "why" of switching - the next version of Silverlight is going to contain the .NET CLR which will make running client-side code in it quite fast. You'll also have access to a good portion of the .NET framework. So, if you're already a .NET coder and you don't want to learn ActionScript, I'd say it's a decent alternative.

      This is a ridiculous article anyway - what're they expecting, dot-com
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by MickDownUnder (627418)
      I've been developing .NET since day 1 (as in reading the white papers to using the first betas). I can tell with absolute certainty that Silverlight is not just an after thought add on to .NET for Microsoft. The basic constructs and security architecture leveraged by Silverlight have been in place since the first beta of the .NET Framework back in 2001, its a technology they have always planned to introduce, before Silverlight they released many browser deployable .NET applications, so the delivery and sec
    • I am always leery of anything Microsoft claims.

      The "downloads" may in fact be automated requests and the downloader may not even be aware of his download.
  • by kurokaze (221063) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:24AM (#22675500)
    NewsFlash!! Brand new technology has less presence in market compared to entrenched, established technology!

    Holy Cow! Stop the presses! This is big news!

    Freakin' Troll of a story if I've ever seen one.
    • by BasharTeg (71923)
      Seriously, this story exists to point out the obvious: There is currently more Flash than Silverlight. ZOMG the shock!

      Now lets all take this opportunity to knock our least favorite monopolist, Microsoft, and espouse our loyalty to our favorite monopolist, Adobe.
      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        Is Adobe a monopoly? Don't think so.

        And anyway, what is the problem with them. They produced some hugely successful technology, we use it all the time, willingly.

        Oh wait, their PROPRIETARY!!!!!11111one

        Yeah, because no proprietary company ever produced anything worth using....

        [koff] Blizzard] [/koff]
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      It isn't needed, AFAICT it offers nothing whatever that older stabler products (Flash) have.

      The big news is that they ever sold (or even gave away) a single copy. Nobody but Microsoft would be able to.
  • Incorrect headline (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:25AM (#22675512)
    Here, let me fix that for you

    Little Demand Yet For Silverlight

    There! that's better.
  • by rucs_hack (784150) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:26AM (#22675534)
    Like me, many of these 1.5 million are people who where breifly confused into thinking they needed silverlight in order to access the microsoft site. I took advantage of their dreamspark initiative, and encountered a 'you need to install silverlight' message. Turns out this was for a small silverlight animation, nothing to do with the main content.

    Since then I've not been back. Nor would I intentionally seek to develop for that platform. Why bother? There's javascript and flash already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BasharTeg (71923)
      How many hundreds of millions of sites do the same thing with Flash? Install Flash to power this ugly animated page header! Neat.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306)

        How many hundreds of millions of sites do the same thing with Flash?
        Not many. Unless you think that users are upset by being able to watch Youtube.

        Of course, not many users install Flash anyway. It ships pre-installed on most computers these days.
    • by vtscott (1089271)
      I downloaded it for the free t-shirt. [slashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why bother? There's javascript and flash already.

      Yeah but those technologies don't help Microsoft improve their position in the market place.

      Won't somebody PLEASE think of Microsoft !
  • Of course there isn't much demand yet: it's still a beta technology! Moreover, the technical evangelists don't seem to be in agreement if Silverlight is toolkit for building media applications to compete with Flash/YouTube or if this is a toolset for building line-of-business applications (ala Java Applets, only without the hideous UI and slow performance). I personally believe that Silverlight will only be a big thing if it is positioned as something for building line-of-business apps and marketed as the p
  • I think they are generally looking in the wrong places. I never really found CareerBuilder or Monster to be all that useful when job hunting.
    • Maybe you don't, but I got most of my job offers on my last job search through Monster. I had my resume up for a day and a half, after which I had to take it down because I was getting too many calls!

      The scary part is that I still get calls and emails from recruiters, even though I've happily settled into a job and haven't been on the market in half a year.
  • by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@uberm00. n e t> on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:28AM (#22675546) Homepage Journal
    Check out ericatcw's previous Slashdot stories [roomformilk.com]:

    "Google Apps Slow to Replace Competition"
    "Firefox Struggling to Compete as Corporate Browser"

    Hell of a coincidence that they're all pro-Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Westley (99238)
      Um, in what way is *this* post pro-Microsoft? You can't very well argue that "Microsoft technology hasn't yet taken off" and "Non-Microsoft technology hasn't yet taken off" are *both* anti-MS subject-matters.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TheSpoom (715771) *
        In that nobody gives a shit about Silverlight except Microsoft and this is bringing attention to it.
        • by Westley (99238)
          And is the same true of Google apps and Firefox then, in your view? After all, the previous posts were drawing attention to those, weren't they?

          You gave examples of three posts (including this one) which are similar in flavour ("technology X hasn't taken off yet"), and tried to use that as evidence that the poster is pro-Microsoft. Your logic is blatantly inconsistent.

          (Oh, and just because you may not care about Silverlight doesn't mean no-one else does. I'm watching it with interest, but without any commit
      • *yet* being the key word here. never mind that silverlight has nothing worth noting that flash doesn't, or that it is not cross-platform, MS doesn't need any of that, just for marketing to say how fantastic and "innovative" it is. either that or find a way to make it appear critical [like others have noted about microsoft.com]
        • by Westley (99238)
          From my personal point of view, Silverlight 2.0 *will* have something that Flash certainly doesn't - the ability to develop for it in C# 3, including LINQ etc. Likewise it will give me the ability to use familiar WPF techniques for developing a UI. I'd rather not learn Flash unless I really have to - but being able to deploy reasonably rich client-side apps via the web (not just using ClickOnce) is attractive.

          Of course, most of that appeal is irrelevant to someone who doesn't already know a .NET language -
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Maybe, but maybe not. If you look at my submissions that were accepted last year [slashdot.org] you might think I worked for New Scientist, since more than half of those submissions link to it. But I don't work for them; I only surf their site often.

      Perhaps the submitter genuinely likes Microsoft? I don't know why anyone would but that's just me.

      -mcgrew

      PS: haven't got a single story posted yet this year =(
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:30AM (#22675568) Homepage Journal
    ..there seems to be little demand for the programming language I invented the other day while I had the flu, and a frightening lack of instructional books on Amazon for it. That's a real shame, because after some chicken soup and a good night's sleep I no longer remember how the goddamned thing works, and was really looking forward to cookbooking it.
  • It also doesn't help that Silverlight is BARELY just making it onto peoples machines and they are already releasing betas of Silverlight 2.0 [microsoft.com]

    You can't expect people to jump onboard if your product is a moving target. No one wants to be left in the dust.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dragonshed (206590)
      Alot of people have been waiting to see what 2.0 looks like before jumping on board. 1.0 had many limitations and deficiencies that most didn't want to deal with. The entire programming model has changed from Javascript in v1.0 to C# (or any .NET language, with assemblies, debugger support, etc) in 2.0. It is also possible to use IronPython, IronRuby, and VB, but I haven't yet experimented with any of those.

      Silverlight 2.0 draws many parallels to .NET as it contains a fully fledged .NET CLR while running
  • How is that even possible? Only geeks, I would think, know about it. Not everyone who knows about it wants it. And Not everybody who wants it has Windows to even be able to run it. How can that subset maintain 1.5 x 10^6 a day??
    • The answer to this question is simple. I did a fresh install of Windows XP last night (for a client), and my third round of Windows Updates (after the Windows Installer and the bulk of the updates, including IE7), one of the updates was for Silverlight. To be fair, it was considered an optional update, but the average computer user sees update and thinks "I need that for increased security" or some such. Long and short, it's on Windows Update, and that's why they're getting so many downloads.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bvankuik (203077)
        I did a fresh install of Windows XP last night (for a client)

        Suuuure... last night I lighted a smoke -- for a friend, of course! ;-) I also pretasted his whiskey, just to make sure it was alright ;-)
  • Waiting for 2.0 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Westley (99238) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:39AM (#22675700) Homepage
    I suspect many developers have been waiting for 2.0 as the "real" Silverlight. It feels to me like 1.0 was mostly a stake in the ground to make it clear that MS is trying for the same market as Flex etc - but it wasn't enough to build proper applications.

    2.0 should (if it lives up to hype/expectations) be much more useful.

    Given that beta 1 has only just been released, it's not at all surprising that there isn't a lot of demand for developers in the marketplace yet, nor books available.
  • by cow ninja (306125) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:40AM (#22675712)
    Stupid choice of metrics. There are more Windows 3.11 books at my local library than there are Vista books. So there must be more demand for Windows 3.11.

    How many books were on the shelf six months after Flash was released? How about job postings? Compare those numbers with Silverlight if you must use a stupid metric like this.

    Troll article.
    • So there must be more demand for Windows 3.11.
      It wouldn't surprise me all that much.
    • by cmburns69 (169686)
      Given the (lack of) marketplace acceptance for Windows Vista, I'd suggest that there may, in fact, be more demand for Windows 3.11.

  • by dalleboy (539331) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:46AM (#22675796) Homepage

    I'm still a bit concerned about the supposed cross-platform-ness. Is the Javascript file Silverlight.js still used to initialize the Silverlight object in Silverlight 2? If that is the case it will never be truly cross-platform.

    If you aren't running one of the platforms supported by Microsoft (Windows (IE, Firefox) and Mac OS X (Firefox, Safari)) you will get redirected to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=92800 [microsoft.com] (or similar), regardless if you have a Silverlight compatible plugin installed. Using the Silverlight.js file is the defacto standard way of initializing Silverlight, at least in previous releases.

    It will be the responsibility to each web-developer to update their copy of Silverlight.js in order to get Silverlight to run on other platforms than the ones directly supported by Microsoft. This will never happen, except perhaps for a small portion that are Moonlight enthusiasts.

  • Millions? (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Aethereal (1160051) on Friday March 07, 2008 @11:47AM (#22675806)
    Of those millions, how many are like me and have downloaded and installed Silverlight, but can not make it work? When I browse to a Silverlight page, it just says that I need to install Silverlight. So I uninstall it, redownload, and reinstall. Nothing changed. I believe this is in IE and Firefox.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:18PM (#22676208)
    Leverage the monopoly and wait til success arrives.
    If it does not happen too quickly, start paying for a quicker uptake.

    Success using this simple technique has been quite good for Microsoft. Failures are all but guaranteed when they can't find a way to leverage the marketshare of Windows.

    This silverlight software is all about the Windows desktop, is their response to Adobes position such that they are also pre-installed on close to 100% of the computer which are pre-installed with Microsoft Windows. Couple that distribution capability with the Adobe Flash/Flex capabilities to tie into backend services for a very rich client experience and Adobe is as much of a threat to Microsoft as Netscape once was.

    BTW, Microsoft is out purchasing uptake for Silverlight at this moment. We've already heard about the US Library of Congress deal and there's a few more I can't recall specifically. Oh and with web pages so often relying on a plugin feature like Flash, I think Microsoft figured out that they no long need to keep proprietary HTML extensions in the browser to lock in developers to Windows, they have the above formula and Silverlight. Another nice lockin technology. IMO.

    LoB
  • OK I confess I don't really pay attention to Flash and I thought that Silverlight was a competitor to Flash. But now there seams to be a legion of competing software development platforms that do things I didn't think people did with Flash. So if Flash is for making things like that "Badger, Badger, Badger, Snake!" Animation (the last thing I remember seeing in Flash). Is Silverlight another animation application? And how are all of these things related to Adobe's Flex and Air?
  • Had to check JavaFX Script out of curiosity: it does register on the top employment sites, but at an order of magnitude smaller than Silverlight.
  • Microsoft's not invented here syndrome, flash style.
  • it'll get popular (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Friday March 07, 2008 @12:55PM (#22676736)
    I'm probably going to get trolled for this, but here goes. As long as there's people using Visual Studio, there will be a demand for Silverlight Apps. I'll have to give credit to Microsoft when it comes to Visual Studio's ability to integrate lots of different technologies in one easy-to-use platform. I hate Microsoft as much as the next person, but my least painful experience with them was using Visual Studio back in school. As soon as they integrate this stuff into Visual Studio (maybe VS 2008 already has this?), people will start using it.
  • by hpavc (129350)
    Only reason its downloaded would be the update feature.
  • http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/web_services_browser/what_3_million_buys_silverlight.html [microsoft-watch.com]

    Silverlight does not work with Linux, and offers only limited support for Mac. But the US Library of Congress took a $3 bribe from msft to force the US to only use msft products. If you want access to public documents, you have to use microsoft - nothing else will work.

    Clearly msft will force this standard on everybody, just like msft will force OOXML on everybody. Once Silverlight is deployed everywhere, develop
  • The only thing I see in Silverlight is yet another attempt to create a platform that ties people to Windows. Sure there is currently an OS X port and a Linux port in the works, but how long will the non-Windows implementations be maintained once Silverlight is entrenched throughout the web?

    It is no different then Microsoft discontinuing Windows Media Player for OS X. The ports are there now to entice us into accepting the platform. Once every one is dependent on it the ports for alternative platforms will f
  • I seem to remember that Silverlight was unveiled around the same times that Steve Ballmer ran his mouth off about all of those mystery patents that linux was infringing upon. I really think that this ended up turning off the audience that they were trying to engage.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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