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Microsoft Programming IT Technology

Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight 300

CWmike writes to tell us that with the impending release of their Silverlight 2.0 product, Microsoft is poised to enact the next phase of their plan, wooing developers and designers directly. Microsoft is funding a French open-source project designed to allow programmers to utilize the Eclipse framework to build Silverlight apps. "Microsoft is also releasing for free a set of programming templates called the Silverlight Control Pack under its Microsoft Permissive License, as well as the technical specification for Silverlight's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary via Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The latter, said Goldfarb, should make it easier for would-be Silverlight developers."
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Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight

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  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:20PM (#25360649) Homepage Journal

    Flash is multi platfrom and there is GASH as an option.
    I also trust Adobe to be OS neutral a lot more than Microsoft.
    99% of our your users already have Flash so why make them download and install Silverlight.

  • So, does this mean (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:23PM (#25360709)
    We can expect an open source Silverlight viewer? If so and MS has agreed not to enforce any patents on the technology then I see little reason for it to not overtake flash. Flash sucks, a lot. The sooner we have another cross platform app for doing online animations and movies the better.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:24PM (#25360737)

    How does flash suck? (Any more or less then any of its competition)

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:37PM (#25360929)

    Silverlight is a tool that Microsoft is designing so that developers can take better advantage of the rich Internet experience.

    Sounds like marketing drivel to me.

    Why can't people get past the whole pro vs. anti-Microsoft thing?

    While financials are right in stating that past performance does not guarantee future performance, microsoft does not get the benefit of the doubt. They have (and continue to, albeit subtly) acted maliciously towards their competitors for a long time, and will spread FUD whenever they can to drive users to the "platform of choice*", namely Windows and Windows-derivatives.

    Not to say that Microsoft hasn't come up with some good things. The problem is that adopting these good things puts you right where Microsoft wants you: following them lockstep, but never quite able to catch up.

    That said, your post reeks of cheerleader. Wake me up when Mono catches up to .NET 3.0 (I think they just got 1.0 WinForms support and are nearing 2.0 compatibility?)

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:45PM (#25361079)
    I think that you are glossing over three decades of Microsoft stifling innovation, locking out others, and bullying. It is a very healthy thing to scrutinize Microsoft's activity and make sure others know to be wary of them. If they are going to behave differently they are not going to gain trust over night. But there is nothing so far that show that Microsoft is behaving any less badly than they have before.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:47PM (#25361113) Homepage Journal

    Well it has more to do with standards. I don't want to have anything I do on the internet tied to one OS, browser, or even software supplier.
    Flash is supported on more OS's and more browsers than Silverlight.
    Also I just can not trust microsoft to keep supporting anything but Windows.
    IE, Mediaplayer, and VBA for Office all show that Microsoft will not support anything but Windows.
    That isn't really politics it is just logic. The internet should be OS and Browser neutral.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:47PM (#25361125)
    My biggest problems with flash are CPU usage and stability. The fact that it's not available for anything but x86 is another, albeit secondary concern (mostly around mobile players).
  • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:48PM (#25361131) Homepage Journal
    You do realize that is the same twisted logic that caused a lot of the internet to be IE only?

    99% of our your users already have IE so why make this work with Mozilla

    Same trap. Just a different beast.
  • But flip through the site and check out the functionality.

    We're sorry, but the Democratic Convention video web site isn't compatible with your operating system and/or browser.

    I'm sorry, but you're making me more interested in what McCain's got to say.

  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:53PM (#25361193) Homepage Journal

    so why make them download and install Silverlight.

    Because you can.

    Seriously, a lot of things with MS are just power games. The MS keys on your keyboard are an example. By my best estimate, about 1% of users ever use them for anything not an accident.

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @04:57PM (#25361269) Homepage Journal

    Saying Microsoft is trying to kill Adobe is "pro-" or "anti-" anything. It's an observation. It's what Microsoft always tries to do.

    I think you're being just a little too sensitive here when talking about a company for which nothing is too low when it comes to smothering the competition.

    Aside from that, if Silverlight is good, people will use it. Frankly, all I could ever get it to do is ask to be installed, even when it supposedly was. I guess it doesn't support Firefox. Flash is closed-source, a performance hog, and Adobe can't seem to port it to 64-bits even though they've been allegedly "trying" for years. If that doesn't tell you volumes about the quality of the code, then nothing will.

    Silverlight is from Microsoft, therefore it will _not_ come without some huge club beating you in the face to lock you into Microsoft regardless of whether it's good or bad. This is an important consideration. Just when software is more cross-platform friendly than ever, Microsoft comes along and tries to set the clock back 10 years. No Linux support? Is this 1998 again?

    These are important considerations above and beyond whether Silverlight is easy to work with and performs well. All Microsoft technology comes with a big ball-and-chain attached, backed by an obscenely powerful company who is not afraid to extort, intimidate and lie to maintain their advantage. For many people, that's not a problem and may even be seen as an advantage. For other people, it could be a deal-breaker.

    If Microsoft wants to be treated based solely on the merits of their technology, then perhaps it's time, after 30 years, that they attempt to compete based solely on the merits of their technology.

  • by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:03PM (#25361359)
    Agreed. The web is meant to be cross platform and Microsoft keeps trying to tie the web to ther OS or their BROWSER or their TOOLS (which then tie back to their BROWSER which ties back to their OS). This is why people are anti Microsoft because Microsoft is anti-open and 'anti-cross platform'. Everytime they make the motion to be cross platform, they ruin it by tying it in to something else or exploiting it or making it obsolete. They can't just leave something open and cross platform. This is why people are suspicious that the have never accepted the GPL or any other truly open license.
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:06PM (#25361397) Homepage Journal

    As a developer, isn't the point to write better/more robust code?

    I used to be platform-agnostic and hardware-agnostic, but after a few rounds of companies pulling platforms out from under me... "better" code that depends on a single vendor is something I have to look long and hard into before I'm going to jump on board. I don't care whether it's called NextStep or .NET, SmallTalk* or BeOS, if it's under the effective control of a single company it's pre-doomed. Over the past 30 years I've been burned too many times to trust ANY proprietary platform.

    take better advantage of the rich Internet experience

    Another buzz-phrase that was just as scary when it was the rich Desktop experience. That turned into a Microsoft-controlled virus hive. Not going there again.

    I tend to use the best tools available

    Me too, so long as nobody can pull those tools out from under me because they went out of business or changed their goals. I don't care so much whether it's open source or not, so long as there's multiple sources out there.

  • by martinw89 ( 1229324 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:12PM (#25361487)

    Actually, I imagine this as some late 30s, early 40s year old guy living in his mom's basement with trollish rants ready to copy and paste. He also has a barbecue sauce stain on his shirt.

    Actually, that's how I see all trolls.

  • by I'm not really here ( 1304615 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:13PM (#25361497)
    Automated script to find the word Microsoft in a posted story, and auto post as anonymous coward with a pre-"recorded" tirade against Microsoft. Note how it didn't specifically address the Silverlight platform. This was a canned response, and one put in by someone with way to much time on their hands to code something to do this for them (or too much time to sit around while Firefox refreshes the page every minute until they see a Microsoft story and pounce).

    Microsoft is not a single entity... Microsoft is made up of thousands of employees, and I'm sure there are some who work with Silverlight that really really want this to be the next Flash.

    I personally would be very upset if Silverlight became a common tool, due to the frustrations with implementing it outside of IE.
  • Re:Oh, Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aztracker1 ( 702135 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:19PM (#25361553) Homepage
    I would disagree strongly that MS hasn't done any bullying... they've done a lot of it regarding OEMs, and in particular in the Win16 days regarding other versions of DOS. More recently, they did a lot to undercut Netscape Server out of the loop (not that it didn't deserve it). I absolutely hate the levels of registration/validation in Windows now, and even in Office.

    MS adds a lot of value to what they offer, but that doesn't mean they get a free pass regarding transgressions of the past. However, on its' own merit, I find the .Net stack (especially since 2005) to be really nice, and that includes the upcoming release of Silverlight.
  • by aztracker1 ( 702135 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @05:23PM (#25361587) Homepage
    Moonlight [mono-project.com] is free and open-source, and isn't going anywhere. MS has offered technical reviews and support to moonlight developers, and you'll likely see moonlight in your native x64 firefox before Flash.
  • by Tweenk ( 1274968 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @06:24PM (#25362243)

    Mono isn't a 1:1 implementation of .Net ... they are compatible with everything in 2.0 that matters.

    And Wine is compatible with everything that matters in the Win32 API. That doesn't cause all programs that matter to run correctly.

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday October 13, 2008 @07:03PM (#25362645) Homepage Journal

    You assume I care. The only reason I tried to install Silverlight was because Microsoft suggested it in order to take advantage of their new download features. I tried it and it failed miserably. I don't even run Windows any more. I'll care if some online app I want to use requires it, _and_ I can get it running with a minimum of trouble. I'm through fighting and clawing and groveling to get Microsoft crap to work. They get one chance, and if it fails as utterly as Silverlight did for me, then I quit. Sorry, this is 2008, not 1983. Software made by a company with billions of dollars and tens of thousands of employees should occasionally work and if, after all the hundreds if not thousands of dollars Microsoft has extorted from me over the past 20 years being a customer of theirs I have to put up with hassle on top of it, then I have no patience.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:27AM (#25365615) Journal

    From now until the end of time Microsoft's cross platform adventures should be tagged "Works For Now". As their DRM brand "Plays For Sure" should have been called "Plays For Now", as their "Internet Explorer" languished free of development until a challenger arose, the only thing certain about Microsoft product development is that there will come a day when utility is deprecated to further Microsoft's perceived economic interests. As soon as they perceive that either they have market ownership or that market ownership cannot be achieved they abandon further development. This is not progress.

  • by rdebath ( 884132 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2008 @02:32AM (#25365627)

    And I don't want it, so I won't.

    Likewise Microsoft aren't helping so they don't want it either; in fact they are actively hindering with their usual technique of making Silverlight a moving target.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry