back to article MS to unveil fresh Flash challenge next week?

Microsoft may next week detail the next instalment in its Silverlight challenge to Adobe Systems' Flash. It has finally published details of sessions for its Professional Developers' Conference (PDC), and of the 34 sessions two have place-holders instead of abstracts. One of those sessions covers Silverlight, and comes with …


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  1. The BigYin

    Flash may be pants...

    ...but at least it is fully cross-platform pants, unlike Silverlight.

    1. Sam Liddicott


      And this is where MS kill themselves every time. It comes with being big and broad.

      How can anyone (government, BBC, etc) trust MS to produce a decent solution when they can't even get Outlook Web Access to work on a non-MS browser?

      MS daren't support the non-MS way and some come across as a bunch of incompetents.

      I don't know what Adobe's excuse is, they've proclaimed the ideal of cross-platform for nearly a decade but they've been so half-hearted about it. It's only lately that flash for Windows Mobile and 64 bit linux have had good support - but their payout for being so slow and so slack is that Apple have decided they don't need it.

      1. The BigYin


        Huh? OWA works fine in FF on Ubuntu. OK, it's the "reduced features" version because there is none of the proprietary muck that IE has; but it does work.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Yup

        OWA 2010 works fine in Firefox and Safari. The same can't be said for ie6.

    2. demo
      Gates Horns

      No Thanks.

      We don't need proprietary junk thats restricted to one platform. The only thing that's going to be replacing flash is HTML5. All silverlight is, another way to force people to use windows.

      1. IGnatius T Foobar

        Silverlight is not a web technology.

        Silverlight applications are not web applications. They are Windows applications delivered over the web. Silverlight == ActiveX 2.0

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge

      No more plugins please

      I wouldn't want a Microsoft plugin for my browser. Having an Adobe plugin is bad enough. Flash gets enough updates for crazy security holes discovered by people with too much time on their hands. Having a Silverlight updates once a week would be even worse.

      Who needs plugins anyway? they just hold back development of the web.

      1. Joel Fiser
        Big Brother

        The exact opposite is true.

        What a moronic statement. Flash has led the way in innovation for the past decade.

        Where do you think online video would be without Flash?

        Where do you think Apple got all of the cool little animation tweens for transitions with the iPhone. The same animations that all smart phones now use and are becoming staples of Ajax pages as well. Flash had been doing that for 10 years before the iPhone. Who the hell do you think INVENTED the RIA?

        And Flash is better than ever and here to stay. My advice? Learn ActionScript 3. Have some fun with Flash - if you have the programming chops.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          hey welcome to El Reg Adobe salesperson

          Seriously flash has always been a POS and it got worse once Adobe decided to outsource development to India code monkeys. Adobe flash is nothing but a malware portal that crashes constantly. As for programming chops I hate to tell you but pony tail flash developers are a complete joke to rest of professional developers who understand best practices as opposed to flash and flair spaghetti code that has to be maintained after said Flash monkey gets canned.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    What on earth is Silverlight anyway?

    I've always skipped the install but don't appear to be missing out on vast chunks of internet without it. Do I need it? Seems like a lot of fuss over something that isn't particularly useful and people don't notice if it isn't there

    1. Chris Pearson

      a title

      As with a large swathe of MS stuff, it's probably more use in the business environment. Means a business can use it's existing .net developers to create flash like content with out having to retrain.

      Having been to a Siverlight session at last years DDD, I can see it bring a bit of shine to the intranet but for 90% of stuff you could do it in ASP.NET.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A bit like Java, then?

      I haven't bothered installing a JVM on my desktops for the last couple of years, and the only time I've missed it was on some NASA site that had an comet tracking applet of some sort.


    Microsoft's Flash Knockoff

    > What on earth is Silverlight anyway?

    It's supposed to be a better Flash than Flash.

    It's supposed to be better than Adobe's version at certain things like support for GPU video playback. Although it clearly doesn't do this on my NV based Mac. The main thing you would be missing out on is Netflix.

    Dunno if anything else uses it.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      And a few big events

      Like the Vancouver Olympics streaming video (I'm sure some money was involved in the choice).

    2. Fuzz

      and sky player

      is using it on both the browser based version and the media centre version. I'm guessing the xbox version is using something similar.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Chris

    "As with a large swathe of MS stuff, it's probably more use in the business environment."

    No kidding. HTML5 is awesome, but Javascript is complete shite. C# is such a powerful language with such a huge backing, *and* it can be compiled to run on the server and the client, I could see as how a more capable Silverlight would have major advantages in the corporate environment.

    I must say however, MS is being retardedly slow at fixing issues with it. The TileBrush has been broken since version 1, with no fix in sight. The rendering is slow, and although 2d might get some kind of hardware acceleration, there seems to be no 3D in sight. Why? because they'd need to ship the giant DirectX with it, which would run on Macs, or they'd need to use OpenGl which wasn't built in house.

    Now compare that to HTML5 & WebGl, which has great 2d & 3d hardware acceleration, and will ship in all non-IE browsers within a month or two.

    Why is Silverlight straggling so? Well, because MS is at war with itself. They have to support Silverlight on lots of different platforms. They have to also code IE and HTML5 support. They need to keep Silverlight small, but they also have to add all their proprietary features. There really are just a ton of conflicting goals, and they have to do everything themselves.

    Now compare that with Javascript & HTML5. Google, Apple, Mozilla, and everyone else are all on the same team. It is Adobe vs Microsoft vs the entire rest of the industry.

    What I dream of is Mono-scripting support in FF as an alternative to javascript. Mono combined with the Canvas tag, WebGl, and HTML5 would certainly be a game changer.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Mono Scripting????

      MS and Adobe have combined forces to make JavaScript shite to deny competition for Flash and Silverlight. If mono scripting were to catch on MS at least would piss on their chips and chuck them in the pool or threaten legal action so everyone who cant afford to take them to court has to pay.

      The whole problem for MS and Adobe with the web and html5 is they cant own it and they will pop your ball if they cant take it home with them when you start to win.

      I'd love to be able to write code in a free and unencumbered CLI language but I rate the chances of that happening in my lifetime at about 0.

      But back to JavaScript - do remember that a bad workmen always blames his tools - it might be shite but you can still write some great things in it.

  5. Sirius Lee
    Thumb Up

    PDC on-line

    Maybe PDC is 'scaled down' because it's on-line this year. Maybe Microsoft is recognizing that travel budgets are being cut so fewer people can attend in person. Meanwhile if its on-line the world+dog can pitch up and only take in those sessions which appeal.

    I'll be watching sessions on Silverlight but we use Amazon's EC2 because Azure is too expensive so I can skip the session about Azure. Maybe in the future I'll be involved in Window Phone 7 but not right now so I can skip these session.

    I think it's good move by Microsoft.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    bad workmen always blames his tools

    Yes, you can build the same house with a hammer or a nailgun. If you own a nailgun you will build many houses much faster. If your hammer made of tin you will build houses so slowly that it won't be economically viable.

    Brainfuck is a Turing-complete language, why don't you go write your apps in that?

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