Microsoft promised Silverlight would be a cross-platform RIA framework. They said it would by a “Flash-Killer.” Some people believed them. We’d like to, but it seems we’re not being given the chance here.
Microsoft just launched Popfly. It’s the new Web 2.0 kid on the block, and it’s supposed to be really cool. Except unlike sites that are built off of Flash, AJAX, plain HTML, or even yucky old Java, it doesn’t run everywhere.
On Windows, our browser of choice is Opera. Microsoft doesn’t support Opera – only Internet Explorer and Firefox. But even worse, Popfly doesn’t support Linux. So here’s the deal: Unless Popfly gets Linux support, it won’t make the cut.
Why? That’s easy: while Web 2.0 is aimed at the masses, it’s the geeks that decide whether it works or doesn’t. What this means is, if the geeks aren’t happy, it won’t work, because it’s the geeks that spread the word, do the free campaigning, and get “the masses” familiar with <insert your favorite Web 2.0 system/service/platform here>. Popfly is alienating a good portion of the geek community, and therefore, Popfly won’t win.
If Microsoft was truly serious about making Silverlight (and therefore Popfly) a real platform and an honest success, they’d have refrained from going public with “Project Popfly” until Silverlight actually became a cross-platform RIA framework. But we’re not surprised, because unless Microsoft is threatening litigation, they’ve long pretended Linux doesn’t exist, and the whole world is just Mac and Windows. Mostly Windows.
Let’s see how long it takes someone to make a “Popfly-Killer” that “just works” (TM) – because it uses Flex instead. So much for Microsoft’s “cross-platform Flash-killing uber platform” because they just don’t get it.