Silverlight as a validation of RIA market

Interesting article by Dave Wolf on his Cynergy Systems blog. He points out that with the WPFE/Silverlight announcements, Microsoft has really validated Adobe’s approach to the RIA market:

What will the results of that shot be? A RIA missile, race plain and simple. We saw a missile race very much like this just a few years ago architected by another major software firm, SUN Microsystems. That was the Java/J2EE missile race and pitted the likes of IBM against BEA and Oracle and about a half a dozen $1BB++ software companies and effectively transformed enterprise applications development ever since. Today Java is the de facto standard for enterprises the world around and it was created by a missile race of market leading software firms competing to own a new market. Microsoft this week started the RIA missile race.

Microsoft not only agreed to fight, they agreed on the weaponry – player based RIA’s with Vector Drawing, Tweens, Animations and Choreography. In other words, Microsoft just told the world, yes Flash and Flex’s biggest selling points versus the rest of the RIA space are indeed the right approach and will be the future of how new RIA’s are built. Tomorrow’s applications will be truly rich and cinematic combining HTML’s development simplicity and productivity with rich, interactive and engaging experiences.

The RIA wars have begun, and the missile race is underway. Just like duopolies of the past, this is good for the market, good for the technology and good for customers. Silverlight is the new power on the global stage and it will be a contender. At Cynergy we learned long ago that the value to our customers is to deliver the right technology to solve the right problem, and to not become emotionally tied to a technology, but to invest into a market and an approach. Today Flex represents a significant portion of the dozens of RIA development projects we are working on with Ajax coming in behind it. Silverlight, for now, does not have the muscle or ability to deliver the kinds of incredible RIA’s we are building with Flex, but do not discount Silverlight moving forward. I have no doubt that will change as the war heats up, and I have no doubt consumers will be better off for it.

Despite the arms race metaphor which I think is overstated, I agree with Dave that it is important to not dismiss Microsoft’s efforts simply because Adobe is ahead now. Microsoft’s first generation technologies always come up short and WPF and Silverlight are no exceptions, but Microsoft is persistent and has the deepest pockets out there. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy watching Microsoft try to compete on our turf… [I almost said “trying to fight an uphill battle” but then I would be using those same war metaphors I just criticized at the beginning of this paragraph. 🙂 ]

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~ by Andrew Shebanow on 19Apr07.

One Response to “Silverlight as a validation of RIA market”

  1. […] Last week I posted about how Silverlight is a validation of the RIA market. I thought I’d post a follow-up of sorts, talking about the importance of cross-platform […]

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