Microsoft embraces Macs, interoperability during Silverlight demo at Mix07

Apple Store“A remarkable sign of changing times at Microsoft was on display Monday at Microsoft’s opening keynote session for its Mix07 conference in Las Vegas: Macs. The presentation was riddled with Macs,” Stacy Cowley reports for CRN.

Cowley reports, “The show’s breakout star is Silverlight, Microsoft forthcoming client technology for advanced, browser-based video functionality. While Microsoft is famed for its halfhearted or nonexistant support for running its software on rival platforms, the company vows Silverlight will be different: Version one is slated to run natively in Safari and Firefox as well as Internet Explorer (both version 6 and 7), and Opera support is in the works.”

Cowley reports, “To hammer home that message, Microsoft threaded Mix07’s showcase keynote with Mac-based demos. Darrin Brown, executive vice president of interactive services firm Avenue A/Razorfish, showed a demo of a streaming video application his firm developed for Netflix using Silverlight — then swapped computers to show off the same technology on a Mac running Firefox. Scott Guthrie, the Microsoft developer division general manager responsible for many of its Web technologies, relied on the Mac so much during his demos that at one point he quipped ‘and it also runs on Windows!'”

Cowley reports, “The Apple embrace had attendees twittering on Twitter, where Microsoft set up a running round-up of Mix07 commentary. One writer reported that he was ‘marveling at the number of Macs making an appearance at a Microsoft conference.’ Another posted to the world at large, ‘Have you ever heard so much airtime devoted to Macs at a Microsoft event?'”

“Of course, Microsoft’s willingness to play nicely with rival platforms has its limits. Silverlight applications will run on Macs, but the tools for building them won’t. Expression Studio, which shipped today, will remain Windows-only software, according to Wayne Smith, the group product manager in charge of the suite… Linux enthusiasts also shouldn’t hold their breath for their own Silverlight client. The Linux crowd is noisy, but Microsoft isn’t convinced it has enough market share to justify Silverlight support, said Brian Goldfarb, the group product manager helming it,” Cowley reports.

Full article here.
Alternate headline: Duplicitous bastards adopt Macs for a day to stress ‘interoperability’ message during would-be ‘Flash killer’ demo

With any luck, hopefully some attendees will get Microsoft’s correct, but unintended, message: “Go beyond Vista: Get a Mac.”

Related articles:
Couldn’t you just buy a Mac and run Windows? Microsoft CEO Ballmer: ‘No, we prefer real PCs’ – April 29, 2006
Mac users should not buy Microsoft software (or hardware) – May 16, 2003


  1. Another take is that M$, while not really giving a damn about Apple, realizes that the future promises a MUCH stronger competitor in OS X, and like a lot of other companies (Dull, HP, etc.), has to adapt to that reality.

  2. If Microsoft is smart, they should be preparing for the next era in their business, which would revolve around new platforms and services, not just Windows.

    Unfortunately, we all know Microsoft’s leadership is dumber than a box of hammers, so yeah, they’ll probably try to give this thing Windows-only features at some point.

  3. LordRobin,
    They already have given it Windows-only features. It only plays on Macs. You can’t use it to create anything on the Mac.

    My only question is how do I make certain that I never accidentally download this malware on my Mac? I see it as the first true Mac virus.

  4. “Silverlight applications will run on Macs, but the tools for building them won’t.”

    Um…what they mean is that Silverlight tools won’t work on OSX. Since Macs can run Windows, Silverlight tools WILL run on Macs. Eventually people will begin to figure this out.

  5. Hey, let’s go after Flash. We could take that market.

    No we can’t. That would be abusing our monopoly.

    Not if we hide behind a bunch of Macs while we demo it.

    OK. Then as soon as Flash is dead we can drop Mac support.

    Now you’ve got it. Two birds with one stone.

  6. First Flash and now this Silverfish thing…these proprietary video formats suck. Why can’t these guys support standards based video formats like H264??? It makes it crappy for developers having to be at the mercy of someone like Adobe or MS for their proprietary server and software. grrrrrrr

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