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Rethinks:MS Silverlight, will it changed Ms. Office? Or just Adobe competitor? June 5, 2008

Posted by Abdurahman in Opinion, Software Review.
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image A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced their new technology, they called it Adobe Flash killer. Even it’s Adobe Flash competitor, Microsoft offering is different from Adobe’s in some features.

Here is some features that Adobe Flash doesn’t have it :

 The CLR

Microsoft Silverlight include a mini-CLR (Common Language Runtime) from .NET, which is mean you can create Silverlight applet with supported programming language (at this time : C#, Javascript, VB,etc..). The most remarkable part of CLR are its speed and its size. Full Silverlight download with CLR and everything else will weigh at around 4 MB. Further to that, Silverlight application are able to access inside and outside the webpage itself. So we can expect many developers of web application tap into Silverlight runtime for both a performance and for better user enhancements and user experience.

 

image Multimedia

Many sites using Silverlight because of it’s multimedia ability; particularly online video. Online video has tradisionally been associated with Flash, and most user are familiar with the constraint that such video has such quality level and fullscreen viewing. Silverlight can distribute multimedia part of the application up to 720p(HD) and also in native fullscreen(not only maximized browser screen).

As with all Silverlight application, video can streamed down through IE, Firefox, Safari on both Windows and Mac OSX. If an application is doing just video and audio and doesn’t require the rest CLR features, then the total download including the codec is around 2 MB. Nowadays, site who serving online video with .wmv embedded format are already migrating to Silverlight.

 

Services

The same video sites that will be switching to Silverlight for content delivery will also want to consider one of the web services announced by Microsoft. The service called Silverlight Streaming and it’s allow users and developers to host their Silverlight content and apps with Microsoft, taking advantage of their extensive global network of their datacenters and their content delivery network. Best of all, this service is free, and while in alpha it allows user to download up to 4 GB of content, and stream up to 1 million minutes of online video delivery at 700 kbps, around DVD quality.

 

Mobile

Silverlight was demonstrated today on a Windows mobile device as part of a new service that the NBL have built. The demo showed both Silverlight applications and media streaming running on a mobile phone – so Silverlight even at this stage is about more than just the desktop browser and desktop market. With windows mobile and Symbian now the two dominant mobile platforms, I can’t see any reasons why we won’t see Silverlight on Symbian as well – thus spreading the platform across the vast majority of both desktops and mobiles, something that alternative platforms have not managed to do.

What’s Next ?

My personal opinion is that Silverlight is great and that Microsoft have done very well to bring .NET to the browser (almost all browsers). What will be interesting to follow will be designer adoption of Expression Studio (as Adobe is heavily entrenched here) and then consumer adoption of Silverlight. There is no doubt that it will take time for Silverlight to hit the browsers and it is up against Flash which is deeply entrenched – but the barrier to delivering a new plugin to browsers is nowhere near as high as most users will trust Microsoft as the publisher of the plugin and will install it.

Now, with all the features above, it seems Silverlight has beat Flash in many sides, except users. Because most popular online video still using Flash as their engine, it seems Silverlight must convinced the developers to migrating. But in my personal opinion also, it’s ready to replace all the content for Microsoft Office.🙂

What do you think ?

If you interested more, please click this, this, and this.

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