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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Silverlight - the future of the Web

When microsoft announced Silverlight it looked a great technology but we had to wait until Mix 2007 for Microsoft to see what it could really do.

The real news is that Silverlight will contain a mini-version of the .NET framework. Therefore developers can code in C#, Javascript (ECMA 3.0), VB, Python and Ruby. This is a massive advantage for Silverlight, it takes advantage of the large number of existing C/VB/Javascript developers and will add the ease of the development that the .NET framework (using Visual Studio as the IDE) is noted for.

All this in a 4MB downloadable plugin for the browser, distributing this plugin should be an easy task for Microsoft as it could even be included in a Windows update.

So how does this compare to Flash/Flex. It is difficult to find any advantage left for the Adobe platform, in terms of speed, flexibility, developer tools and video output Silverlight seems to comprehensively trounce Flash/Flex. There is still the issue of developer acceptance, developers have an instinctive suspicion of Microsoft and it products. Even some diehard MSoft sceptics seem such as Steve Gilmor seem convinced that Silverlight is a home run.

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