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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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  • Well, duh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caywen ( 942955 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:33PM (#34068968)

    I would think that HTML 5 being more cross platform is pretty obvious. Along the gradient of machine code -> interpreted/jit code -> scripting -> markup/declarative language, the more to the right you get, the more portable you inherently become.

  • no (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wodkamichi ( 1545967 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:36PM (#34069008)
    this can't be real - silverlight on multible platforms? does that mean we get the same crap on linux. perhaps even on solaris :(
  • HTML5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:40PM (#34069060)

    HTML5--another in a long line of standards forcefully popularized by Apple that Apple won't get credit for when everyone takes it for granted. See also: 3.5-inch floppies, USB hardware, the "File Edit View Window Help" menu layout, and more...

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:49PM (#34069140)

    Apple popularized Firewire (which became IEEE 1394), not USB.

    You must have missed the iMac (G3, I mean).

  • by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:49PM (#34069146) Homepage
    Here's something you don't hear much anymore: de facto standard

    Good riddance, too.
  • by mewsenews ( 251487 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:52PM (#34069180) Homepage

    Thou were intended to be the ActiveX of our age, to witness the glorious rise of the ye Microsoft of old, alas, tis not to be.. alas..

    (fucking rot in hell)

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @06:55PM (#34069196) Journal

    Perhaps realizing that even longtime Windows user like myself refuse to click the "must install Silverlight" link on the few websites that have it.

    The only place I have this problem is on a few streaming radio sites. In almost all cases, they have another link for the "basic player" which gives me what I wanted: audio from their station without having to install more crap.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:17PM (#34069378)
    Moonlight seems to be a solution in search of a problem. It works great with aspects of silverlight nobody uses. And the only thing lacking in it is the ability to play the drm video of the few siliverlight using sites anyone actually cares about.
  • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bennomatic ( 691188 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:19PM (#34069394) Homepage

    His refusal to adopt WMA or license FairPlay killed DRM in the music industry

    I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that WMA and FairPlay sucked, nor a little out-of-bottle genie called Napster.

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:20PM (#34069398)
    The only thing I ever needed Silverlight for was to watch Netflix streaming, and Moonlight didn't help any there. It's like Mono to run .net, or Wine to run Win32; you'll get a little ways with it, just not enough to be very useful. Microsoft simply does not do cross-platform (not even to the point of releasing and then following their own standards so others can make compatible implementations). If they say they are going to, it's a ploy. Sorry to have to repeat slashdot dogma, but it happens to be true in this case.
  • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:25PM (#34069438)

    And what about the cases where "things for Apple's benefit" coincides with "things that benefit consumers"? They are not two mutually exclusive categories.

    The HTML5 web is going to be a fun trip back to the days when Linux didn't have any of the gizmos needed to view video or anything else. Boy, I can't wait! Thanks Steve!

    I'm sorry, what - other than a dogmatic refusal to run "non-open" software on your Linux system - prevents you from viewing H.264 video in something like VLC, or a browser like Chrome or Opera that supports it?

  • Oh brother. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:57PM (#34069692) Homepage

    Yeah, because MS Silverlight is *so* easy to view in Linux in comparison to HTML5.

    Ideology is spread pretty thick around these parts.

  • Re:Heh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday October 29, 2010 @07:59PM (#34069704) Journal

    Yes on part of your post, but 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, whereas Adobe doesn't give a shit who or what packages flash. Start advertising native H.264 support in a distro and watch MPEG-LA drop the troll hammer upon thee, whereas Adobe don't care, package away. So far they haven't even said boo about alternative render projects like Gnash.

    So unless we can get the two Steves (Ballmer and Jobs) to get on board WebM I think we have a serious problem here. H.264 simply trades one master for another, and while I personally don't mind proprietary software as long as there is competition switching over to HTML V5 would pretty much hand the keys over to MPEG-LA, which have proven they just aren't nice. I only hope the web developers of the world will unite and demand that HTML V5 have a FOSS codec for video, be it Theora or WebM, rather than simply trade one lock in for another.

  • by NullProg ( 70833 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:03PM (#34069728) Homepage Journal

    The 5 primary Desktop computers in my home run Linux. I purchase services (annual subscriptions in Microsoft speak) from the NFL/MLB/HBO and several others. They all work with Linux. They all work with my Windows Netbook, Wii, MacBook, and Linux Laptop. The producers know the product they produce is viewable with Linux and several other OS's. They get my subscription fees while Microsoft doesn't. Check it out, I'm not tied to any platform.

            Cross platform does not mean Windows XP/Vista/CE/7 only. Cloud services does not mean Windows XP with IE 99 or Windows 7 with IE 8.5. Cross platform and cloud services mean Droid, Windows, Linux, Mac, Blackberry, iPhone, HP, Wii, PS3 or any other platform that is standards compliant.

    Come out with a .Net runtime with Silverlight that runs native on Multiple non-Microsoft platforms. And no, Mono sucks and is full of traps.

    My rant.

  • by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @08:30PM (#34069882)
    ... of Microsoft's XML based / GUI / animation-friendly / .NET based vector interface technology. The beast underlying Silverlight will continue to find its widest audience in WPF on the desktop, and possibly a decent sized user base in Windows Phone 7 -- if MS can get traction on the latter. Displacing Flash on the web has always been a pipe dream, and based on the dictates of iOS not even a pipe dream worth so very much effort anymore.
  • Re:HTML wins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @09:21PM (#34070130) Journal

    Silverlight does not go away - it will simply take the place of ActiveX as the platform of choice for "kinda Web but not really" apps in MS-centric shops. A few places like that I know are all either already using Silverlight in that role, or are seriously considering it. On the other hand, I know of few sites on the Net which serve Silverlight content to end users.

    If you look at the feature set changes in recent versions (especially Silverlight 4), it seems that this is also the direction in which it is being pushed. It now has a fairly complete widget library, and not one but two (WCF Data Services client library, and WCF RIA Services) data manipulation frameworks which integrate seamlessly with ORM on the backend, support integrated Windows authentication, etc. Immensely useful for business apps, but not so much so for typical consumer stuff.

  • Re:Heh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:31PM (#34070482)

    Yes on part of your post, but nobody has yet explained to me why supporting HTML V5 with H.264 is BETTER than supporting flash.

    Once you move away from Flash and to the VIDEO tag you can support any format you want. You can support multiple formats. You can move from one format to another over time (just list both file names, with the preferred ones first).

    If all you do is support Flash (regardless of whether video is encoded in format X, Y, or Z), you're stuff with Flash.

    Once you move from Flash to VIDEO tag+H.264 you're halfway to WebM (or anything else).

  • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GrumpySteen ( 1250194 ) on Friday October 29, 2010 @10:35PM (#34070496)

    > In January 2008, Steve Jobs publicly stated in February 2007 that Apple would sell DRM free music if allowed.

    You actually believed that?!?

    Consider: If Apple wanted to sell DRM-free music, it would mean that that they wanted people to be able to play music they bought from the iTunes store on any MP3-capable device they owned. If that's the case, why has Apple spent years updating iTunes, sending cease and desist letters and filing lawsuits to prevent people from being able to do so?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay#Circumventing_FairPlay [wikipedia.org]

    Actions speak louder than words. Apple loves their FairPlay DRM and loves having users who buy music they can only play on Apple products. It's no coincidence that Apple sells DRM-free music at a higher price than the DRM-encumbered music. They would much rather people buy the DRM protected files because that will keep them buying only Apple products.

    And EMI's DRM-free offerings through iTunes? They did their own tests and discovered that higher quality DRM-free songs outsold lower quality DRM-encumbered songs 10-to-1. EMI was the one who stepped up and made deals with Apple, Amazon and several other stores in addition to making a deal with YouTube to allow EMI music videos to be shown.

    Apple didn't kill music DRM, no matter how you look at it. They followed the trend of businesses moving away from it.

  • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) <slashdot3@[ ]oggy.com ['phr' in gap]> on Saturday October 30, 2010 @02:18AM (#34071186) Homepage

    His refusal to adopt WMA or license FairPlay killed DRM in the music industry

    I'm sure it had NOTHING to do with the fact that WMA and FairPlay sucked, nor a little out-of-bottle genie called Napster.

    It definitely had nothing to do with FairPlay sucking. FairPlay does suck a little bit, but all other implementations of DRM suck a lot more. What Apple did was 1) create the #1 best selling portable digital music player of all time, and 2) refuse to allow music purchased from any online store but theirs to play on it. This had the effect of motivating everyone else who wanted to compete with the iTunes Store to convince the record labels to allow THEM (not Apple) to sell DRM-free music, since there was no other way for them to meet customers' demands of something that's compatible with an iPod. Once this happened, it wasn't too much of a stretch for the record labels to allow Apple to sell DRM-free music too (although Apple did have to compromise in the negotiations, and allow the record companies to set different prices for some songs).

    Your out-of-bottle genie is part of the reason the record labels insisted on DRM in the first place.

  • Re:HTML5 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iskender ( 1040286 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @03:49AM (#34071410)

    I'm not a Mac zealot or anything (writing this from a self-assembled Linux box) but I think you're missing the point.

    This is not about having USB, it's about having USB while not having serial and parallel. irDA is really small compared to the giants that are serial, parallel and USB - it matters about as much as PCMCIA.

    I built my first "own" computer in 1999 and it had all the old ports. I used all kinds of parallel and serial devices and no USB at the time - had I had an iMac, I would have bought USB devices. I had a printer which ate parallel, and it's pretty obvious that I used the existing parallel port instead of buying a new one just because USB was there. Yet with an iMac I would have been forced to buy a brand new USB device.

    See how this works? Hell, when I started out with that computer I used an ISA sound card I had left over from before which perceptibly slowed the entire system down with its ancient hardware communications. Good luck using such shit with the iMac even back then - it's not about having the new standard, it's about forcing it by not having what everyone used to have.

  • Re:Thanks Apple! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday October 30, 2010 @11:45AM (#34073034) Homepage

    If that's the case, why has Apple spent years updating iTunes, sending cease and desist letters and filing lawsuits to prevent people from being able to do so?

    They were contractually obligated by record labels to make their best effort to maintain their DRM system. If they hadn't tried to keep it intact, record labels would pull their content from the store.

    You're creating some revisionist history here. Jobs had been outspoken about the problems of DRM for years, and it's known that Apple created their DRM scheme, above Jobs's objections, because record labels insisted. Record labels also had Apple remove the ability to copy music off of your iPod, which was possible in early iPod models.

    After years of trying to negotiate for DRM-free tracks, Jobs wrote an open letter asking record labels to give up their position. The record labels began to fear Apple's influence, and decided to prop up Amazon as a competitor. They gave Amazon a better deal, allowing for cheaper prices and DRM-free tracks. Eventually Apple came to a deal with the record labels-- the record labels would give Apple DRM-free songs, while Apple would allow record labels to sell their songs at higher prices (until then, Apple had insisted in keeping prices at $0.99/song and $9.99/album). Apple would also get higher-quality encodes in order to help justify the increased prices.

  • Re:Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bjourne ( 1034822 ) on Saturday October 30, 2010 @12:22PM (#34073320) Homepage Journal
    FYI, most flash video is already streamed using h264. The options are plain old html + flash + h264 or html5 + h264. On Linux, there already are dozens of programs able to decode h264, none of which has gotten into any legal trouble. Adobe on the other hand, has actively been sending DMCA requests to any projects (such as rtmpdump) working on decoding the proprietary RTMP protocol which is integrated into flash streaming.

User hostile.