Reaction to Microsoft's TCO claims on Silverlight
I was also listening to Scott Guthrie yesterday at AjaxWorld in San Jose. My first reaction to his claims of Silverlight TCO (in 1 of every 4 PC's, low TCO,...) was one of "here we go again, Microsoft's marketing claims moving faster than reality". Here are my reasons for saying so.
Scott gave many demos on video streaming aspects of Silverlight - NBC Olympics, Democratic National Convention, etc. Much work has been done to provide efficient streaming and that's squarely aimed at fighting Flex's video capabilities. Then Scott said that Silverlight is also ready for business applications. The example he gave was a medical application of EKG charts and a 3-d view of a heart revolving around - nice eye candy. Mission critical business applications at Fortune 1000 companies deal with complex and high volume data, extreme performance, scalability, and serious security. Silverlight has a long way to go before they address such applications.
The Curl RIA platform is deployed at 400 of the largest global customers doing such mission critical applications on the web. The shift is from the old client-server architectures of yesterday with very high cost (thanks to Microsoft's pricing of software on the desktop) to the client-centric web platform for enhanced user experience. We have many examples of drastic lowering of TCO. I gave a talk at the same forum with four such examples of serious TCO reduction. How we do it? We compile the code on the client via a JIT compiler to the metal of the hardware. We reduce round trips seriously, saving on server dollars plus many more tricks.
Silverlight is targeting media-rich applications to fight Adobe's Flex dominance. Neither Microsoft nor Adobe (Flex nor AIR) have made inroads into serious large scale mission critical applications for the enterprise yet. It will be prudent to have real examples before the claims. Scott announced that Silverligh 2.0 is just out. We all know how good Release 1 was.
It's time to take a look at Curl in this context.