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Microsoft's Silverlight Strategy 'Has Shifted' 212

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like Microsoft might finally be realizing that Silverlight can't cover every platform, according to this conversation with Bob Muglia: '... when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, "our strategy has shifted," Muglia told [ZDNet]. Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. "But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple's) iOS platform," Muglia said.'"
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Microsoft's Silverlight Strategy 'Has Shifted'

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  • Re:no (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArhcAngel ( 247594 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:39PM (#34069038)

    Moonlight [] works ok.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:4, Informative)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:06PM (#34069294)

    I'm talking about the 3.5-inch floppies that Apple was first to include in its Lisa and Macs. They were removed in the late 90s when nobody was using floppies anymore. If you're seriously arguing that 1.5MB floppies were still widely used by 2000, I don't know what to say.

    Firewire was started in the mid-80s to replace parallel SCSI, nearly a decade before USB's existence. It is still the standard for data transfer between devices such as A/V equipment. Apple's been phasing it out over the years has always been a supporter of USB, adopting it in the original iMac to the exclusion of older keyboard and mouse connectors, forcing hardware manufacturers to support the new standard.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:3, Informative)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:07PM (#34069302) Homepage
    Actually, Apple *invented* Firewire; Sony made it popular outside of the Mac world by taking the generic specification (IEEE1394) and using it on their DV cameras. But Apple did indeed popularize USB by making it the only peripheral port on the iMac, encouraging more peripheral manufacturers to support it (the iMac was pretty wildly successful when it first came out), and it was largely because of this that *every* PC manufacturer started making USB a priority over the old serial ports.
  • Re:HTML5 (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:13PM (#34069336)

    I'm confused are we talking about the 3.5" floppies that everybody had but Apple killed first.

    They killed them when nobody was using them anymore in the era of CD burning and the internet.

    Or USB hardware that was running in oposition to Apple's preferred standard: Firewire?

    iPods/iPhones use USB. Apple obviously prefers USB, at least for non-professional users, since they keep removing Firewire ports from their Macs, and they put USB ports on everything (I run my mouse through one of the USB ports on my keyboard). Apple started Firewire to replace SCSI back in 1986. USB came out in 1995.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:3, Informative)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:16PM (#34069368)

    The first iMac was controversial at the time because it eschewed all previous peripheral connector types for USB ports. At the time, USB was a new standard that wasn't as widely adopted as it is today.

    Like I said--another popularization of technology taken for granted.

  • Re:Well, duh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:17PM (#34069380) Homepage

    the more to the right you get, the more portable you inherently become.

    No, you don't. That is only the case if the language(s) you're dealing with are transportable due to having a virtual machine/runtime compilation design - and those languages have a multitude of platform-specific interpreters.

    Examples: perl, python, java, javascript, .NET.

    Silverlight is a very 'high level' language - but it only has runtimes for Firefox and Safari on OSX, and (essentially) Windows. There are no mobile implementations (except for possibly Windows Mobile 6.x, couldn't find any info on it.) Flash is much more portable and cross-platform.

    Even javascript isn't all that cross-platform/portable due to the use of different browsers/javascript implementations.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:2, Informative)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:20PM (#34069400)

    I didn't say Apple invented USB. I'm saying that it wasn't until the original iMac that hardware manufacturers fully embraced the standard in order to support the new Mac, which used USB ports. At the time, the standard with PCs was still a PS/2 mouse and keyboard, a parallel port for printers, and so on, so the iMac's design was very forward-thinking.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:4, Informative)

    by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <.gro.ognats. .ta. .todhsals.> on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:29PM (#34069484) Homepage Journal

    Though 3.5" floppy drives had been around since 1982, they did not meet with success until the 3.5" floppy drive was chosen for the original 1984 Macintosh (quickly followed by the Atari ST and Amiga the following year). Apple was not too far ahead of their time when they killed the floppy in 1998, but they saw where things were going and made the right call-- Mac users who still really needed a floppy drive were able to buy an external one. Windows users questioned it because they weren't (really, still aren't) accustomed to being able to boot from any device with an OS on it that's connected to their computer, so floppies were their lifeline.

    Though USB had been on PC motherboards beginning in 1996, nobody did anything with it until Apple put it in the iMac in 1998 and excluded all other port types. Lots of people will argue that Microsoft finally adding USB support to Windows (in Win95 OSR2) was the tipping point, but that's bull. Windows users had the option of clinging to their peripherals that used the ancient parallel and serial ports, and cling they did. iMac users had no such option, and the popularity of the iMac meant that if hardware makers wanted iMac owners' money, they had to start churning out USB-based peripherals for them.

    As an aside, Firewire did not appear in a Mac until the Blue & White G3, in January of 1999. It did not appear in an iMac until the 6th revision, in October of 1999. Apple's view was that USB and Firewire were complementary... USB for low-bandwidth stuff like keyboards and mice, and Firewire for hard drives, video cameras, and other high-bandwidth devices. Intel was the one that had the apparently inferiority complex and started working on USB2, to compete. Based on my experience using both, Firewire 800 is superior to USB2, and if I have the choice between those two I'll always pick Firewire. (As for the future, Firewire 1600 and 3200 have been approved by the IEEE but aren't in any shipping product, I haven't seen a USB3 device in the wild yet, and Light Peak is a wildcard at this point.)

    To sum up, Apple is the tech company that is not afraid to chop off legacy stuff at the knees, and by doing so indeed often drags the rest of the industry kicking and screaming with it.


  • Re:Heh (Score:3, Informative)

    by MasterEvilAce ( 792905 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:32PM (#34069500)
    The fact that most of them suck, and you would have to install multiple plugins just to be able to browse the internet regularly.. but then because of that you end up having lots of security holes all of the place due to hastily written plugins. Back in the day you had Real Audio, and you hated it, because all it did was BUFFER all the time. A lot of sites had WMV, which couldn't be played on Macs. A lot of sites had MOV which required QuickTime, which behaves horrendously on Windows. Now, the majority of sites use flash, which is prone to security problems, crashes, and also can't be played on Macs, if Apple has their way. With a unified codec, each browser is free to implement the specifics however they want, and the media is still guaranteed to play across all platforms. EVERYBODY wins.
  • by guyminuslife ( 1349809 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:55PM (#34070014)

    You'd be wrong. Sort of.

    Netlix never "banned" Linux. If you can get it to work with the site, great, they'd be happy for you. The problem comes in with the studios, who demand that Netflix use DRM when a user streams a video on their site. So they use Silverlight's built-in DRM API, which the studios are okay with. The only problem is that Moonlight does not implement Silverlight's DRM scheme. The details are proprietary, and although Novell has asked Microsoft for permission to use their DRM scheme in Moonlight, Microsoft has said "no." They don't want to share it, they definitely don't want it open-sourced (what's the point of an open-source DRM implementation?). This all makes sense from both parties' perspective; the only one really making a stupid mistake is Netflix, for using Silverlight in the first place. (Although I don't know whether their licensing terms played a part in that or not---in any case Flash nowadays has lots of DRM support, and would of course be a viable solution should Netflix decide to switch.)

  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:22PM (#34070136) Homepage

    Moonlight [] works ok.

    Mono is not at feature parity with Silverlight. I don`t even talk about non existing developer and designer environment for Linux/OS X/BSD.

    Even MS admits that Silverlight may not be really cross platform as once envisioned and you Mono/Moonlight/Icaza fans still mention Moonlight.

    For industry (if they took SL serious, silverlight is whatever offered at MS Windows Update, which is version 4 or something now.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:3, Informative)

    by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:38PM (#34070516)

    Actually, USB is an Intel designed standard and came with the ATX board design and the BX430 chipset, also from Intel.

    designing != popularizing

    The iMac popularized USB because PCs at the time were still using a variety of connectors (PS/2, parallel, serial, etc.), and the situation was similar with previous Macs. Including USB as the only* external hardware connector on the first iMac is presumed to have spurred the industry to create appropriate peripherals faster. For that record, we can say the same thing about the floppy drive, which, as you may remember, the iMac also omitted.

    *Yes, I'm lying: there was also FireWire, Ethernet, phone line, headphone, and microphone/line-in connectors (most of which are still with us today), but the point is that it abandoned ADB, GeoPort, and other randomness for USB.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:4, Informative)

    by profplump ( 309017 ) <> on Saturday October 30, 2010 @01:13AM (#34071028)

    You're talking about two different things.

    Firewire has DMA. So does eSATA. I don't see anyone whining about DMA there. In fact, they'd whine if eSATA didn't support DMA. And there are methods available on both busses to require devices to be authorized before DMA requests work.

    Firewire is also a master-less system. USB can only connect one master to multiple slaves. This is why you can't connect your camera to your phone or visa versa -- both devices are setup as slaves and can only connect to a host. This also means you can't connect two computers together via USB, as they are both masters. Firewire works like SCSI or Ethernet, where all devices are peers -- any FW device can talk to any other FW device on the same bus. You can even interconnect electrical busses with relatively intelligent routing to give you multiple collision domains while maintaining connectivity among a large number of devices. This again is a feature -- if your computer, phone, and camera all had FW instead of USB you could connect them in arbitrary combinations and still have them work. You can also use FW for IP networking and other Ethernet-like functions (and in fact modern FW provides support for cat-5 connectors that automatically switch between FW and Ethernet).

  • here we go again (Score:3, Informative)

    by kikito ( 971480 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @09:02AM (#34072306) Homepage

    I'm talking to you, developers that spend time, energy and money on learning and using microsoft technologies.

    Even if it fills the plate today, for your own shake, invest some time on alternatives to ms-only. Otherwise you can see that knowledge go to waste.

    Learn from history.

  • Re:Heh (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2010 @12:37PM (#34073474)

    nobody has yet explained to me why supporting HTML V5 with H.264 is BETTER than supporting flash. It seems nobody is willing to talk about the elephant in the room: H.264, which is the biggest patent minefield in the history of bad patents. If we were talking WebM then yes, 100% right there behind you. But FOSS browsers like FF can't support H.264, since MPEG-LA has made it clear you WILL be cutting them a check

    Ok, then I'll come out and say why. HTML5+H.264 is better than Flash, because there are multiple implementations of H.264 and it has been ported to everywhere and those ports are getting maintenance. And in spite of the fact that MPEG-LA says you'll be cutting them a check, plenty of us will illegally use H.264 and they will never know who we are so that they can come after us. Or perhaps someone else already paid the license fee when we bought our hardware (e.g. NVIDIA pays them, we buy NVIDIA and install their VDPAU driver, plugins call VDPAU, and the browser people are totally left out of it).

    H.264 simply trades one master for another

    You're right, of course, but it trades for a weaker master. Gnash still doesn't implement enough of Flash to be totally useful; Flash is big and complex enough that it's too hard for anyone to ever implement which is why it will never be a standard. H.264, unlike Flash, is already here TODAY. There are many H.264 implementations right now, legal or not.

  • Game of chicken (Score:3, Informative)

    by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @03:23PM (#34074632) Homepage

    I think it'll be a game of who blinks first. If Google puts WebM as the primary codec on YouTube, many (most?) device manufacturers will feel compelled to support it.

    I think it's also possible Google could get its Android partners posse (and maybe Nokia) to also use WebM. With both Nokia and and Samsung/Motorola/HTC/LG/Sony etc., that's the majority of phones out there.

Air is water with holes in it.