Jeremy Zawodny on Silverlight

Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo has written a great post about Silverlight and what it means to the industry. Its probably the best thing I’ve seen written from a neutral point of view. I couldn’t agree more with his last two paragraphs:

Now don’t be fooled into thinking I believe that Silverlight will take over the web. I think it’s success as even a Flash killer is highly uncertain at this point. But it’s certain to be a big hit inside companies that have major investments in .NET technologies. That’s an awful lot of companies and an awful lot of code. But how much we’ll see Silverlight being used in “consumer” services is a whole different question.

Either way, this will have some pretty interesting ripple effects.

I agree with him that Silverlight 1.1 will have a lot of appeal within Microsoft’s strong developer base, many (if not most) of whom are already familiar with .NET programming. Those folks will still have a fair bit to learn going from the world of Windows.Forms to a more declaritive, web-style method of programming UIs, but it is less of a leap than going from that world into the full world of web-based programming.

The real question, as Jeremy points out, is whether Microsoft can break out of their existing base and capture a significant amount of business from other markets: designers, non-Microsoft web developers, Flash/Flex developers, etc. These are areas where Adobe has traditionally been stronger than Microsoft. We’re facing the same battle from the other side: can Adobe gain a significant number of developers from Microsoft’s base of programmers while holding them off in the markets we already do well in? You can guess which way I’m betting, but no matter what happens, the next few years are going to be very exciting.

Here are a couple more interesting perspectives on the competitive situation:

[Update 4May2007 14:37] A couple more interesting links to check out:


~ by Andrew Shebanow on 04May07.

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