Microsoft to Push Silverlight via Redesigned Website

Microsoft SilverlightSeveral months ago, Microsoft inserted themselves into the RIA framework business – years too late and against pretty scary odds – with the initial release of the Silverlight framework. Microsoft Silverlight is the online counterpart to the Microsoft .NET 3.0 Framework and a direct Adobe Flash/Flex competitor.

Microsoft isn’t new to the whole “virtual” monopoly business (where a single company holds the entire market thanks to “superior technology” and “better business sense”) – it’s just not too often that they’re on the wrong side of this particular proverbial fence.

When Silverlight was first announced and PopFly, Microsoft’s social network built to demonstrate and hopefully kickoff Silverlight, were simultaneously launched; we were quick to appreciate the technical aspects of .NET and WPF taken online, but were careful to make it clear that we didn’t think it stood much of a chance.

But things might be on the verge of a big change. Large portions Microsoft’s website are in the middle of a redesign that will feature a fully Silverlight-powered interface – doing away with HTML and everything else. We’ve had a chance to test the new interface (currently in beta), and here’s what we think:

  1. According to Compete, Microsoft.com is the 8th most popular site on the internet, with around 60 million unique visitors a month. Put another way, if Microsoft successfully pulls this off, that’s 60 million new Silverlight users in the first month alone!
  2. The new, Silverlight-powered interface is a pretty big step up from the old design, making it easy to access information about individual downloads and view overall info and lists.
  3. The Silverlight part of the interface is almost wholly unnecessary. It’s really nice to use, it’s smooth, it’s easy, and it’s beautiful – but it’s nothing that requires a RIA in the first place. Microsoft could have easily implemented the same user experience (give or take) with HTML + JavaScript/AJAX; with a lot less effort and greater compatibility.
  4. At the moment, very few non-Microsoft-owned sites are using Silverlight at all; let alone for the entire UI. And of those that do, none have anywhere the amount of exposure that Microsoft.com gets.

Keeping these facts in mind, there’s only one logical conclusion to be drawn: Microsoft realizes (as has the rest of the geek community) that Silverlight is on the verge of being forgotten. Claims of superiority aside (true or otherwise), Microsoft has realized that if Silverlight is to stand a chance, it’s going to take more than a failed attempt at making a Silverlight-powered social community to get developers and consumers alike to adopt Silverlight.

It’s a desperate move, there’s no doubt about it. While Microsoft will no doubt be making an alternative HTML interface available for a mixture of legal and practical purposes, switching Microsoft.com over to Silverlight is a sure-fire way to get that attention…. and depending on how it’s both marketed and carried out, it could be what it takes to make developers start taking Silverlight seriously.

Whether this’ll work out or not, only time can tell. We don’t know when the new Silverlight-interface will be going mainstream, but it’s probably not for a couple more months at the very least. The current interface still links to many as-of-yet not updated pages, and portions of the Silverlight section still appear to be missing some features here and there. Overall, the new interface is very user-friendly and well-developed, though.

You can either view NeoSmart Technologies screenshot gallery of the upcoming Microsoft.com re-design or attempt to access the beta link directly (working as of 01/03/08); but still pictures don’t really do the interface justice. Where the new UI really shines is the overall grace and fluidity of the interface, with gentle hover effects and fade in/out transitions that are done just right.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clear up some references to a full-site redesign of Microsoft.com. We do not have any evidence that all of Microsoft.com is being redesigned to take advantage of Silverlight, just large portions of it. Sorry for any confusion.

94 thoughts on “Microsoft to Push Silverlight via Redesigned Website

  1. What a load of rubbish!

    This is neither new nor exclusive. I personally saw this ages ago and a quick google brings up news of this over a month ago.

    Actually, the whole article stinks of propaganda.

    “Microsoft realizes (as has the rest of the geek community) that Silverlight is on the verge of being forgotten.”

    What kind of idiocy is that when silverlight proper (2.0) isn’t even out of Alpha yet? Surely the “geek community” knows that the real meat of silverlight is in the 2.0 version? Seems silly to forget it just yet, given we still know almost nothing about it?

    I’d continue to pick apart this post but I don’t really think it’s necessary, everyone can clearly see the tone. It’s dripping with snide comments and to be honest just comes across as petty and childish.

  2. Wow, leave it to the fanboys to start wit their flame!

    If Silverlight 1.0 was never meant to be considered and 2.0 is the “real” deal, then why is it labeled as final and not as “beta” or preview or whatever?

    I think the article is spot-on. PopFly is dead, or rather never even took off (ohh,,, what’s that? you’re waiting for PopFly 2.0 where the “real meat” is??? stupid.) Silverlight is only used on microsoft.com and channel9.

    On the other hand, Flex applications are all over the internet, on some pretty big sites too.

    thanks for the article and the news, neosmart technologies. it’s just sad that fanboys have to point at the next version and say “see, that’s the real thing!”

    soon enough that’s what they’ll be saying about vista; too. “You silly! everyone knows windows 7 is where the real meat is! vista is just a preview!”

    gimme a f**** break.

  3. Marty, come on now no need to swear!

    I never said 1.0 was never meant to be considered, or that 2.0 was the real deal. What I meant when saying “the real meat of silverlight is in the 2.0 version” is that it’s a little early to say that

    Silverlight is on the verge of being forgotten.”

    Lets face it, thats very premature.. The single most attractive feature of silverlight, in my opinion, is managed code. I certainly won’t invest in silverlight 1.0 but I’m really looking forward to 2.0 that’s for sure. I also know I’m not alone in either of those things.

    I’ve never used PopFly, I wouldn’t know if it was dead or not, I never mentioned PopFly. Extending my comments about there being exciting things in the future of silverlight to make it sound like I said there was exciting things in the future of PopFly makes no sense.

    Silverlight is not only used on microsoft.com and channel9, we both know that. And no I’m not saying it’s as popular as flash or that its popular at all. I would actually generally be very interested in seeing some Flex penetration figures and sample sites in the wild, just as I would with silverlight, would you care to share your sources? There are actually some pretty big sites running silverlight too.

    Your last point. Again it makes absolutely no sense to me that you would use my comments about silverlight not being forgotten to make it sound like I believe windows 7 is any good. I actually don’t like vista much and have downgraded both my laptop and desktop at home to run XP again.

    As for the fanboy thing, don’t you think it’s a little immature? I’ve personally done way more flash work in my career than I have silverlight, I think flash is a great platform.

    I’ve never read a neosmart article in my life before but interesting is the article the author linked to about how they thought silverlight wouldnt do too well has a comment from a long time reader saying how they’d noticed a distinct change in attitute towards microsoft.

  4. Actually this is only about the download page, not the homepage (and this is not a news, has been announced almost 1 month ago, or even more).

    And it’s too early to say silverlight is a failure since SL1.0 is just a “placeholder” for the real SL which will be version 2.0 later this year.

    Let’s wait it sees the public light before announcing any failure.

  5. Well, Silverlight 1.0 is really about streaming media as can be seen by sites such as MLB.COM (ever watched a live game via Silverlight – very cool), NBA.COM, NetFlix, and a few others.  I would agree there is not a lot of “true” RIA apps in Silverlight right now, but SL 1.0 did not really target that market.  That is indeed what Silverlight 2.0 is all about – richer control set, better code platform, etc.

  6. I think the success of any new technology first and foremost depends on developers. And developers have been given the run around by MS one too many times. I for one, am fine with Flash unless there is a new open alternative, meaning I would just pick the lesser of the two evils until a real alternative is feasible.

    Especially web developers are wary of anything that says MS and the web in the same sentence. We already have to maintain 3 code branches just for MS IE ver. 5, 6 and 7 already. Let’s face it, MS is way too much involved in keeping their monopoly alive than to provide users with real solutions.

  7. The only thing I ever use the MS site for is to look up API reference material, as I’m sure a lot of other people do as well. I guess I’ll be depending on the cached version on Google for this one.

  8. too bad M$ doesn’t feel a need to make it universally compatible. Running linux + ff = unusable silverlight .. I think I’ll go back to watching my flash based videos now …

  9. @HC: I guess what you say is right “the success of any new technology first and foremost depends on developers”.

    Till now to develop RIA apps you had to use a kind of notepad and some proprietary API using Flash, which had the monopoly of the RIA market.

    With SL developers will be able to use VisualStudio, and develop apps with C#: there is a much bigger audience for this kind of developers then a niche of Flash developers.

    And, again, even if you don’t care about .NET developers, having a competitor will make Adobe develop a better IDE for Flash.
     

  10. Actually, if you wanted to do RIA, you could have been doing it in Java for the last several years. Developers didn’t because early applets didn’t perform well over slow network connections Microsoft decided it was in their best interests to only ship a broken version.  Of course, from Microsoft’s viewpoint, Java has two fatal flaws:

    1) It really is cross platform

    2) Microsoft doesn’t control it.

    Honestly, I don’t get Silverlight (or .NET) at all; it is the answer to questions nobody asked: How can I get the benefits of Java and Flash but only run well on Windows?

     

     

  11. Martin:  Not sure I agree with your comment regarding who is using Silverlight…

     

    If you check out the Silverlight Showcase (http://silverlight.net/showcase/) you’ll see that there are plenty of very notable sites using Silverlight, here’s just a couple you may have heard of:

    * MLB.Com

    * HSN.TV

    * Entertainment Tonight

    * FOX Movies

    * WWE

     

    Toi expand on Anonymous’ comments a little…Silverlight 1.0 is a great platform for a site that is interested in media alone, thus you are only seeing limited use at this point, focused on media outlets and sites that are displaying video content.  Silverlight 2.0 adds controls and .NET language support and will thus expand the reach of Silverlight to those who want to do full fleged application development in Silverlight without having to learn a new language like they would with Flash/Flex and reach multiple platforms (Mac, Linux, Windows).

     

  12. Just some food for thought:

    1) To end-users, there is no difference between managed and unmanaged code. For developers, it’s certainly a big difference…. but which is it that will be visiting Microsoft.com?

    2) As we’ve previously written, Silverlight actually has better support/hopes in the *nix world than Flash, thanks to Miguel and the Mono Project; who’ve all been working pretty hard to make an open source Linux-compatible version… something that Flash users have had to suffer without (broken official Linux builds, no x64 support, no Flash 8 for ages, etc.).

    3) Please note that in the article we’re not declaring Silverlight to be inferior or second-best; the truth is quite far from that. Microsoft’s .NET technology (well v2 and up!) is really great and managed RIA is nothing short of wonderful for people that like RAD or believe that the best code is the fewest code.
    The entire article is just about the “political” side of things and is an observation on the fact that Microsoft will be redesigning their site to make use of Silverlight (and RIA in general) when no such technology is needed. Our deduction is that they’re not satisfied with the lack-luster Silverlight adoption rates.

    From a business or software-engineering point-of-view, Silverlight 1.0 and PopFly certainly aren’t what you’d call successes. The technology may be great, but we’re not commenting on that. All we’re saying is, quite simply, adoption rates are dismal and the Flash monopoly didn’t even sway…. which isn’t what MS had intended, obviously, and now they’re trying something else, something a bit more desperate, to make things work.

    Hope this clears things up some 🙂

  13. “the answer to questions nobody asked”?  Well, that is not correct at all.  It might not be a question a Java or Flash developer asked, but it is one that a .NET developer would ask.

    .NET was a response to the millions of Windows based developers that were looking at Java and saying, “that’s cool” when can I do that.  Sure, they could have done Java on Windows, but today, and even more so then, the Java client experience on Windows is poor compared to what is capable with tools that target only Windows.  It has gotten better, but .NET still allows you do to much more ON Windows.  Over time, more and more functionality has been added to .NET to make it a complete competitor to Java in a lot of spaces, but there was clearly a market for .NET and thus the question has been asked.  The millions of .NET developers and the fact that a majority of enterprise shops do at least some .NET development shows that the question was indeed asked and Microsoft had an answer.

    Silverlight is basically the continuation of that for .NET developers.  “Flash is cool, how can I do that with skills and tools I already have” – that is the qestion and Silverlight is the answer for .NET Developers.  You can play the “Java and Flash do that already” card all you want, but if you don’t know those tools and have invested time and money into .NET, they are not an answer.

  14. Since there seem to be a lot of .Net people coming here and offering their POV’s, maybe something from the other side will be appreciated.

    Silverlight won’t work. The reason is what drives these technologies is popular websites. Now tell me how many popular websites, social networks, search engines etc., video streaming websites run on .Net. The answer is very few. People don’t want to be locked in to MS and be paying licensing fees for every little thing. And for websites like Digg etc., these can rack up to significant amounts.

    So, the “Java and Flash can already do it” card is very valid. Flash is not open either, but just like MS, it has the luxury of being an entrenched first mover.

    People talk about Moonlight and all that. But they forget, not a whole lot of people n the Linux world like Miguel and Mono. Mono is legally GPL, but actually, it is tied to the whims and fancies of MS.

    Here’s my prediction, soon, we will see Silverlight tools available as part of some sort of gimped Express version (the first hit is free principle) but when students go out to the real world, they will find that the knowledge of vendor independent, open source technologies will serve them much better.

    Some people here are talking as if .Net has taken over the world. Just a quick search on the Tiobe ndex would prove otherwise.

  15. Hey, I like brash, unsubstantiated opinions as much as the next guy, but do yourself a favor and head over to google trends and compare silverlight and adobe flex (or even just plain flex if you want). The truth is, Microsoft is not “years late”. The RIA game has not even started, in my opinion. 

  16. You’re “failed attempt” link is linking to popfly.com which is a redirect domain name to popfly.ms.  If you look up that domain on Alexa you can see that the traffic, although not much greater, doesn’t just end in November.  Not so dramatic, but possibly more accurate.

  17. @HC:
    “it is tied to the whims and fancies of MS.”

    That’s not really true – theoretically anyone who feels that Microsoft is dictating Mono’s direction and isn’t happy with that is free (under the terms of the GPL) to go off and maintain their own, Microsoft-free fork of it.

    Obviously Microsoft wants nothing more than the success of its Windows platform. They’re not going out of their way to make .NET and Silverlight available to non-Windows users as we discussed at length here.

    For Windows developers, .NET is really almost 100% free. The free Express Edition development tools cover almost all needs; and .NET is an excellent technology for Windows developers focusing on Windows users. But the only Windows lock-in truly there is the lack of MS-sponsored “encouragement” or contributions to spreading it to other platforms.

    Of course, given a choice between Java with whom Sun Microsystems is taking an active role in distributing builds and tools for non-Sun environments vs. .NET with Microsoft going out of their way to make sure that Windows is the first and foremost target; the logical choice is sticking to Java – can’t fault you there.

    But for Silverlight.. the only other choice is Flash. And Adobe is very stringently pro-MS/Windows as well (Mac excluded), though one would expect that to change on this new playing field.

    It’s the Linux world’s fault that the Linux world hates Miguel. He has done a lot of hard work with (what seems to be) noble intentions at mind and heart; and the Linux world really does stand to benefit by accepting his contributions. It doesn’t have to be .NET or Java, it can be both, and Mono is the way to there.

    But, as we mentioned in the article and you repeat in your comment, the biggest problem is with the consumer base. The net’s most-popular sites use Flash; and even if it isn’t universal, it’s been around long enough that it works “OK” on non-MS platforms… it’s good enough; and that’s the big obstacle for Silverlight (again, technical (dis)advantages aside).

    Bottom line: Silverlight is a viable alternative to Flash in concept, but not when it doesn’t have much more to offer and arrives a decade after Flash. If MS were to actively maintain an open-source Linux-compatible branch, perhaps that would help knock Flash off its roost, but as things currently stand, yes, Silverlight has failed to reach its original goal. Back on topic: based on these facts, MS is indeed taking desperate measures.

  18. I think the RIA “game” is done and over with. We are getting to the point where JavaScript is no longer enough, and let’s face it, Flash is only useful for media streaming. Point me to some major app that uses Flash for presentation other than videos etc. The reason is, Flash (and Silverlight) are not Google friendly, licensing is expensive. Devs would tend to avoid those as much as they can. I think Flash and Silverlight will be fighting over media streaming, and that’s about it.

    This is a last ditch effort by MS to control the browser. ActiveX didn’t work. So here comes Silverlight. There will be a new buzzword tomorrow. Time marches on.

  19. @HC: You keep on mentioning licensing costs. Can you please explain what these are for Windows developers?

    Scenario:
    I’m a developer. I install a free MS program to develop a Silverlight script. I deploy it to a webhost. Visitors download the free MS runtime or Mono runtime, and they view.

    Let’s be honest: most developers have a Windows system lying around. That’s the only cost involved. There is no licensing, it is free technology.

  20. I meantion licensing fees not for student developers or people writing Hello World apps, I am talking about real world app like Digg, Facebook, Google etc.

     Fees are in terms of windows licenses(development machines), IIS licenses, Visual Studio licenses, let’s face it, any real world app runs on a DB, in this case SQL Server licenses. All these costs add up.

  21. @simone .. look at the “release” page, where is the actual M$ release, not a 3rd party version.

    The same reason I use adobe flashplayer and not gnash is simply potetial incompatability. I don’t need open source versions of everything, nor do I want to roll my own apps all the time. Tehre are times when you just need things to work.

    btw, my concerns are less related to video playback that they are to being worried that I will be forced to install something that I really don’t want or need in order to search up basic info or available downloads for systems that I am repairing. Personally, I’d be just as happy to be able to do everything through lynx.

  22. Well, .NET is compatible with MySQL/PostgreSQL too 🙂
    And, to the best of my knowledge, you can host any Silverlight application on an Apache server just the same.
    Visual Studio costs money, but it really is worth it. Just like some of the Java development IDE aren’t free (open-source or otherwise), you get what you pay and free alternatives are available.

  23. @ComputerGuru

    Exactly! So if a shop is using an open source server, an open source DB and everything. Why would they want to introduce a MS dependency just for the sake of doing something that can already be done with existing tools that are already established in the market. What is that new thing that silverlight brings to the market?

  24. It’s rather ironic that I’m defending Silverlight while being flamed for “bashing it” in the article, but here’s my response: why not?

    We’re agreement here. No reason to use Silverlight. But all the same, no reason not to, either. Flash and Silverlight are both proprietary. Flex forces you to pay crazy $$$ for their dev studio, Silverlight doesn’t. But that doesn’t matter, if you’re on going on principle, they’re both the same.

    At the end of the day, it’s just competition. And competition (yes, even from Microsoft) is good for the end user.

    The only thing we’re questioning here is the wisdom/strategy behind forcing it on 60 million users each month who just want to grab a file or see the MS headlines.

  25. Well the cost for the WIndows itself is already a “license fee”.

    And btw: I see people here talking so much crap…

    Let me provide you my 2 cents:

    I am a BSD user and I give a fuck about Linux binaries or whatever. Also I’ve ued BeOS and other systems (yeah even Solaris).

    Even on a OpenBSD I am able to build a java vm (from the source code!).

    Can MS claim to be able to provide me the code to build my own “silverlight”-plugin/wthatever for MY favorite OS?

    And if they provide silverlight for free but not the source code I’m happy about the new monopoly sue by the EU wich claims: Hey just people owning a Windows OS are able to visit microsoft.com! This is a monopoly because others should have the chance as well to inform themself about MS products (like competitors).

    I’m sure such a simple assumption could be made by the EU and hopefully MS looses another 500billion pocket money.

    I’m not pro linux nor pro solaris nor pro BSD even. I’m pro “freedom of choice” and that’s what sun partly garants with Java (and Flash does not so I give a fuck about Flash as well).

    You may get the hint?

    And those of you who product just HTML crap: How can you claim to be a “developer” or even a “webdeveloper”. Seriously you’re maybe partly a designer but for sure no developer at all.

    Sure a GUI is importent today (a GUI! no website.. a real GUI!) so silverlight COULD be interesting specialy for embedded platforms (Routers?! And other China crap) where today HTML/JScript is used (I just saw just ONCE one ActiveX-using device but plenty devices wich used Java!)).

    So if you wanna listen to my oppinion, and I’m no “real developer”: Developer will care whenever it doesn’t matter what OS/HW they use.

    Take a look at C!
    It was possible to code mashine indipendend! w00t!
    Take a look at any protocol so far we’re using now (http, dns, http://ftp..blabla) and u’ll start to notice that NONE was proparity.
    So w00w00 again….

    So what can you tell me about Silverlight? That I can download binaries for MS and Linux? That wont help if I run Plan9 or BeOS or QNX or OpenBSD or NetBSD or Minix or Solaris or IRIX or HP/UX….

    I think I should have pointed out the real thing developers may care about..

  26. @ComputerGuru

    Agree with you completely there. Flash is proprietary as is Silverlight (or is it Moonlight, I am confused). But as I said earlier, if I have to choose, I would go with the lesser of the 2 evils.

    Would you be willing to recode your app everytime a new version of SL comes out? We did see it to a degree when .Net 3 came out. It pretty much broke a lot of existing apps. I would root for SL if it was not MS, simple as that. I don’t think for 1 second that they are actually thinking about coming up with a solid, competing API. I think its more about gaining control of the browser any which way they can.

     I am not faulting the devs at MS, I am sure they are extremely fine, and competent people. Its the management. as someone said, MS is a law firm which happens to own some software.

  27. @Anon:
    Hmmm… Interesting, thanks for the heads-up. It’s actually the correct domain, but Alexa isn’t collecting data for the .com tld any more.

    See here: PopFly.com vs PopFly.ms.

    As for our traffic rankings… It’s nice to know that NST is more popular than PopFly, but don’t worry, if we roll out our own RIA framework, we won’t count on this site’s exposure to be a driving factor in it’s adoption 😀

  28. I honestly didn’t have a problem porting any of my code (don’t worry, thousands of lines :P) over to .NET 3.0 (but then again, I used FxCop to validate all my apps and code against strict standards while coding them in the 1.1 and 2.0 days).

    @anonymous2: Yes, that’s what the moonlight project is. Go to the moonlight site, download the code, and compile it on BSD. It also works on SkyOS and other posix-compatible non-*nix operating systems.

  29. Not to mention, no Mac support. So how are we going to access the Mac part of the MS website? Smells like more proprietary shenangians to me.

  30. Well it’s not about not being able to do it it’s about MS not “supporting me” (as developer!).

    Why the fuck do the real people always have to reverse the things and such crap…

    Seriously companies from the USA are just fucked up (all of them! kinda no exception) and companies from Asia are far more “friendly” to real developers.

    Can I use the code of Moonlight-Project? Propably I can, yeah..
    But was it provided by MS? The “Vendor” wich wanna spread it’s standard? No…

    It’s compareable with Intel Wlan-Chips (where the driver-papers are there but distributing the firmware is forbidden by INTEL…) or Atheros (you guys suck realy btw..) compared to those of f.e. RALink (great guys! They realy provide everything to developers! Even changed their firmware license to all free distribution of it with non MS-OSs!)

    Why supporting a Vendor wich wont have me as possible customer?

    And Moonlight is “concentrated” on Linux.. if it runs anywhere else: Nice.. but they point out that their goal is to provide a solution for Linux (mainly).

    Anyway I’ll take a look later even this project provides a vendor wich wont have ME nor you (if you’re a Apple User, Linux User, a developer or if you may sit as Admin on a university datacenter on a Solaris workstation…).

    Well that’s what MS never gets.

  31. rick: Actually, Microsoft maintains the Mac builds.
    Quote:

    Today we shipped the Silverlight 1.0 release for Mac and Windows. Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a browser. Some of its features include:

    Source: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/09/04/silverlight-1-0-released-and-silverlight-for-linux-announced.aspx

    I can only assume that when you visit the Silverlight site on a Mac, you will be redirected to the correct page.

  32. I’ll bite my lip instead of replying to most elements of this but the one that stands out that I can’t abide – using Alexa statistics as ‘proof’ that a site or project has failed – is just naive in my opinion.

    Also I think it’s a bit far fetched to simply tag popfly as a social networking site, popfly was launched to demonstrate the power of mashups – if you ever paid attention to how it did that, then you’d realise it didn’t fail at all and is extremely impressive, if popfly were ever intended to succeed as a social networking site [sic] then the failure wouldn’t be with the technology, it would be with the marketing.

  33. I guess the fact that MS is releasing the MVC framework for ASP.NET and all the conversation they are having with developers is good step toward this.

  34. you guys (most commenters) seem to have some thing cofused: Silverlight 1.0 is comprable to flash: a video delivery system. Silverlight 2.0 is comporable to flex.

    keeping this in mind, silverlight 1.0 has not impacted adobe’s flash market. maybe there is room for silverlight 2.0 to attack flex though.

  35. @Rebecca

    I don’t think even Flex has been very successful. I have yet to see a Flex based app which can be called successful.

    I think when vendors make the colorful brochures to sell stuff to pointy haired bosses, they forget, technology in the workplace is ultimately driven by developers. You can lead a horse to water, etc. etc. 

  36. Sorry about the PopFly.com/.ms confusion, the link has been fixed. Alexa may not represent the true worth/numbers for a site, but I believe it is fair to say that it’s a fair indication of the web trends surrounding it. As you can see, besides the initial interest in PopFly, it’s pretty much back to nothing.

    But, definitely the failure of PopFly (if we call it that) does not necessarily mean the failure of Silverlight…. but keeping in mind the lack of other Silverlight-powered sites out there, you can see the “difficult” position that Silverlight is in.

    So perhaps this move is what it would take to get consumers to install Silverlight and developers to target it. After all, it is a Catch-22: developers won’t use a platform that hasn’t yet been tested and deployed, and customers won’t use a platform that isn’t being actively developed for.

    At the end of the day, we’re not criticizing Silverlight nor saying that it’s an inferior product.

  37. @simone .. I stand corrected. I completely forgot about the Novell deal. For the record, if I were still in a 100% M$ environment, I’d still be complaining. I hate the idea of being forced to install anything I don’t need or plan on using.

     As for linux vs M$ vs Mac battles, they are pretty pointless imho. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses … I got over the “which is better” fight about 10 years ago.

     

  38. sorry about that, you’re right, wpf is actually the flex competitor and silverlight2 is the online counterpart.

    @gunbian: me too. the solution: i actually dual-boot with a program i found here on neosmart technologies called easybcd: http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

    it’s what made me start reading this site, too 🙂

    i’m using easybcd to dual-boot ubuntu, vista, xp, and leopard. each os has its strengths and weaknesses. fun 🙂

  39. lol, it was fun while it lasted 😀

    must admit, i’m pressed it’s over so soon 😛

    i mean, it’s slashdot linking to a MS-negative article one of whose authors in the comments is defending silverlight as a good flash alternative but at the same time against ms for deploying it across their site.

    i guess up is down and down is up in geekland today. 😀

  40. btw, i have to say, the ms silverlight logo is niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. i love the blue smoke, it’s so peaceful! it is a hell of a sexy logo.

  41. Yeah, that’s what my pointy-haired boss said to me too. BTW, she also paid $1600 for a DESKtop running Vista.

  42. @Rebecca

    Well, not all down is up today.  There are still some *nix trolls around who think “M$” is clever and witty.  I had hoped it would die with the Macarena, slap bracelets, and leg warmers but someone didn’t get the memo (or maybe TPS report?)
     

  43. No, M$ is still clever and witty. At any rate, I don’t think its half as bad as what a convicted monopolist does. “Get the facts” indeed.

    This is a public forum. Lats time I checked, *nix trolls should be as welcome here as bought and paid for MS shills.

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