Microsoft to battle Adobe Flash with ‘Silverlight’

Apple Store“Microsoft this week will reveal new technology to deliver rich media applications on the web, a new strand in its battle with Adobe,” Elizabeth Montalbano reports for Macworld UK.

“As described by Forest Key, a director of product management for Microsoft’s Server and Tools Division, Silverlight is a browser plug-in that allows web content providers to offer a rich video and interactive media experience from directly within websites. The technology, which leverages Vista’s new graphics framework, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), will debut at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference,” Montalbano reports.

“Microsoft will also unveil web content providers who have signed up to use the technology once it is available, including Akamai, Brightcove, Eyeblaster, Major League Baseball and Netflix,” Montalbano reports. “Key said Microsoft is targeting three core audiences with Silverlight, formerly code-named WPF/E: content providers that want to distribute video and rich media over the web; designers and developers building rich interactive applications; and end users that want the best possible experience when viewing Web-based media.”

Montalbano reports, “The cross-platform Silverlight is compatible with a range of browsers, including Internet Explorer (IE), Safari and Firefox.”

Full article here.


  1. Seems a little late in the game to try and dethrone Flash. It’s everywhere. Adobe tried to beat it and just ended up buying the company. It’s about as close to a standard that there is on the Web.

    And… it’s Microsoft…that company…honestly they just suck. They don’t get it. But..wait and see I guess.

  2. In other news, Microsoft is going to reinvent the wheel…

    “Consumers are demanding a more innovative approach to rolling.” an unnamed source deep within the Redmond, WA based company quoted this morning. “We want our customers to have the best possible experience when using wheels, so we are developing wheels that leverage the round objects embedded in Vista, our world-class operating system.”

  3. Only fools will trust MS and sign up to this. Everything this software does can be done already (and probably better) and does anyone remember Playsforsure? There’s plenty of people who jumped into bed with MS over that one who won’t forget it.

  4. “Silverlight” has been announced only. It does not exist yet. First Beta, per Microsoft executives, in weeks from now, that is who knows when and if.

    As far as Microsoft goes, and their record, Silverlight might simply be the approved name of a project having as goal to obliterate Flash. Will see when and if.

  5. what is wrong with flash? why do they need to get to everything…
    They had so many year to build windows media player.. they failed.. now they want to copy what another successful company is doing.
    I wish the big brother fails on this.. silver light or platinum light

  6. …is a browser plug-in that allows web content providers to offer a rich video and interactive media experience from directly within websites.

    Hmm, this sounds slightly familiar, no? Good lord, what is with Microsoft’s obsession with owning/having complete control over EVERYthing computer related?

    As a web designer (HTML and Flash) (by hobby, not trade), I seriously hope this “new technology” dies a brutal death.

  7. Amazing. Rather than actually trying to innovate, M$ again go down the route of trying to get into someone else’s game. They’ll end up coming out crap as usual.

    Is it really that difficult for them to come come up with something new considering all the resources they have at their disposal.

  8. Peter J: “Seems a little late in the game to try and dethrone Flash. It’s everywhere. Adobe tried to beat it and just ended up buying the company. It’s about as close to a standard that there is on the Web.”

    I hate Microsoft to the very core, but…

    That having been said, I am not so sure that they can’t do serious damage to Adobe’s Flash market-share… All they have to do is integrate it in tightly with IE (and coupled with cross-platform support, which they are likely to pull the rug out from under later on), they can gain tremendous headway…

    Can they make a profit at it? I don’t know? If you look at their SEC filings, look at the numbers in the channel, etc. it starts to become clear that their only source of actual profits is Office and Windows… Everything else is just a loss-leader.

    Simply put, Microsoft’s core strength is in their ability to give stuff away… I really don’t think Microsoft has an innovative bone in it’s body (and no, I do NOT think that any of their engineers are unrecognized creative people who have been stiffled by the lack of vision of the management. I honestly believe that Microsoft engineers are indoctrinated into believing that “what is good for Microsoft’s profits is good for everyone” way of thinking. It’s those who leave that saw the light.


  9. One of the more annoying character traits of MS is that they seem to think they have some sort of sacred birthright to have a finger in every pie. To which I say, “Hey Microsoft, your standards suck ass. Kiss mine.”

  10. If Silverlight ever takes hold, the very first thing Mafiasoft will do is start crippling the Safari version in crafty ways that appear as if the coding goofs could have been accidental; the exact thing they did to QuickTime (and which a court forced them to fix). Mafiasoft also ensured that Windows’ supported fewer codecs on QuickTime than anyone else’s media container. At the time of that QuickTime/Windows stunt, when Mafiasoft announced the court-ordered bug-fix, they issued a press release announcing how they shouldn’t have had to “fix” another vendor’s software.

    Mafiasoft did the same sort of B.S. with Vista, which broke iTunes. Apple called them like it saw them and announced that users should simply hold off on upgrading to Vista until M.S. fixes the problem. Mafiasoft squealed like a stuck pig. Bastards.

  11. Keep wriggling, M$!

    We know you see the Orifice and Winblows cash cows keeling over and dying, and we know you’re desperate to get the hell out of Dodge. But there’s nothing you can do about it, is there? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

    IsIsSecure vs Apache, MSN vs Google, wmv vs every other media format ever, FailsForSure vs AAC, Failbox vs Sony and Nintendo, and let’s not forget Zune vs iPod. M$ cannot survive outside their mini-shitopolies.

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