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Graham
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« on: March 04, 2008, 01:05:35 PM »

Microsoft's Flash killer "Silverlight" is going mobile cross platform after inking a deal with Nokia for a free runtime version for the popular (53% of the mobile handset market) Nokia S60 OS platform. Although Adobe has market domination with Flash, Microsoft could pose a serious threat or at least make a good dent if developers switch to Silverlight given it's cross-platform appeal that is intended to go further than Adobe's.

More info on the BBC site:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7276907.stm

Silverlight:
http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/default.aspx

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/lQwgDpbnFxw&amp;rel=0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/lQwgDpbnFxw&rel=0</a>
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wolfluecker
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 02:18:14 PM »

Yes, that's another big announcement of today. Where did you see that the runtime is given to Nokia for 'free' (if I get you right)? Adobe has a similar deal with Nokia for FlashLite, but they pay a licence fee. If MS don't charge that, it will mean a huge difference and a massive leg-up for Silverlight on S60/mobile.

There is still plenty of doubt that Silverlight will be able to take on Flash as a desktop player, because of limitations of the format and the enormous head start and market penetration that Flash has. But if MS are doing better than Adobe in the mobile space (and that isn't difficult considering how Adobe has pretty much wasted the opportunity with FlashLite) it may be significant very soon. Hurrah, more fragmentation!!

I thought the BBC article did get a bit muddled up with mobile and desktop half way through. AIR is not mobile yet for example, so that's a different market they're entering. Huh

Wolf.
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Graham
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 08:43:15 AM »

Hi Wolf

According to Microsoft's website the Silverlight browser plug-in will be "freely available for all supported browsers and platforms"

http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/overview/faq.aspx

Of course this was the original premise behind Flash when it was Marc Canter's baby at Macromind so perhaps it's worth taking a screen shot of the Microsoft page for future reference  Wink

Cheers

G
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wolfluecker
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 02:51:27 PM »

That FAQ only refers to the end user I think. It's the same for Flash, Adobe don't charge you to install the Flash Player on your PC/Mac, but they charge an OEM like Nokia for bundling FlashLite with their devices. So I suspect Nokia are not getting the runtime for free either - but who knows?

It's still bad news for Adobe though.

Sorry but here's my pedantic bit: Macromind renamed themselves to Macromedia in 1991 and Marc Canter left. They bought FutureWave, the inventors of the original Flash format (FutureSplash), in 1996. He did come up with big things, but Flash wasn't his baby I'm afraid. I do remember being a junior web designer in 1996 and Nick Austin from Macromedia coming to our offices to demo FutureSplash/Flash 1.0. Never seen so many dropping jaws...

Wolf.
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Graham
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 03:56:36 PM »

 Grin Grin Grin

You're right, I guess I should have said Marc Canter's "Director" which Flash is a dumbed down version of...But I figured that would have been too pedantic!

There's a fun interview with Marc here.

My background at that time was very early multimedia CD-ROM titles running off single speed drives  Shocked

Back to Silverlight vs Flash and the possibility of freeness. You could be right but I suspect that Microsoft (if they're smart) may go for a similar tactic that caused the demise of Netscape and just push the player out for free, user or OEM, in an attempt to force .NET as a standard along with some of their other browser technologies. I'd say that Microsoft are playing for higher stakes than Adobe here given their failure to dominate the Internet against the likes of Google and the slow uptake of Windows Mobile.

Alternatively it could be that Nokia are investing some monies in hope that this will establish credible competition for Adobe in that space although this flies in the face of Nokia current strategy for open source technology on their Internet Tablets and keeping the OS costs/overhead low.

Or it could be a combination, Adobe have been greedy in my opinion and greed creates opportunities for new players.

Then there's always AJAX  Wink

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