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Silverlight and Microsoft’s ‘Open’ Status Still Very Low, Indicate Studies

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Minix, Novell at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t (always) make it drink.”

Earlier on, trashing of the World Wide Web using proprietary XAML was seen as a subject worth discussing due to the unnecessary arrival of Moonlight. It’s a Novell project that is probably most craved — it at all — by Novell and its paying (to Microsoft) customers, who may or may foolishly believe that they receive some sort of ‘protection’ (from whom? Microsoft? Its patent-trolling ‘spinoffs’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]? Any of the above? Or none of the above?).

Fortunately, according to this new post from O’Reilly Radar, Microsoft’s Silverlight isn’t taking off, despite Microsoft’s forcing of some of its partners (sometimes akin to bribery) to embrace it.

What’s Keeping Adobe Up at Night? Probably Not Silverlight.


In short, if book sales are any indicator, traction for Silverlight appears to be quite low.

Last month we placed emphasis on an interesting new report from a RIA expert. He argued that Microsoft was faking Silverlight adoption in order to create hype and then simply hope for the ‘cattle effect’. The following memorable leak comes to mind:

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

As we alarmed before, Microsoft already has “Silverlight boosters” on its payroll.

Speaking of fake support, a new survey suggests that most people are not so easily fooled by Microsoft’s faking of support for ‘openness’. What probably speaks greater volumes, however, is Microsoft’s steep brand decline from 11th to 59th.

Our survey shows that business technology pros aren’t convinced that Microsoft is doing enough to shed its old proprietary habits.


Not surprisingly, business technology pros, who have had to force-fit Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together for years, have their own doubts about Microsoft’s openness. Fifty-one percent of those we surveyed regard Microsoft’s openness push as mostly a PR campaign. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “extremely open,” Microsoft garners an average score of only 2.3.

Hope remains, despite what we wrote last night and in spite of Novell's PR work for Microsoft. This game of posturing has not proven to be hugely successful.

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  1. Roy Bixler said,

    May 18, 2008 at 11:36 am


    If there is any doubt about Microsoft’s new-found “openness”, one can just take a look at their appeal of the most recent EU sanctions partially on the grounds that forcing them to open their APIs, protocols, etc. to all comers including open source projects is a “violation of their intellectual property.” So, when the rubber hits the road, they’re not so open after all. Quelle surprise!

    By the way, I’m not so sure how far this “violation of intellectual property” argument will go. I believe, even in the US with its lax anti-trust enforcement, that anti-trust law trumps “intellectual property” laws. This only makes sense. After all, what is “intellectual property” except a form of a government-granted monopoly? Anti-trust law is of course designed to curb the bad market effects of monopolies.

  2. Klimzk said,

    May 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm


    You know the best way and in fact the only way to beat M$ for you guys is to build a free OpenLight, GnuLight or whatever and outperform the M$ counter-part. As a web developer, I can tell you that the proprietary Flex/SilverLight blow the pants off the silly “open” Ajax/HTML/CSS solutions. I for one will not trade quality for the low-grade so-called “openness” any day of the week, and I’m not alone. If proprietary technology is clearly better (which it is in this case) then screw “openness”. Bitching or fuding over proprietary technologies won’t get you too far in this game.

  3. Roy Bixler said,

    May 18, 2008 at 3:52 pm


    The Web is going the wrong way in increasingly requiring these binary blobs which really contribute nothing except “oooohh, aaaaah fancy graphics”. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me much if I can’t view them. A more informative, archivable and open Web is preferable.

    That aside, if you want your fancy graphics to be visible by the maximum audience, then it would be in your best interest to use a technology that works on all the platforms commonly in use, one of which is Linux. The best way to ensure that is to use a more open standard. That might be a matter of sacrificing a more feature-rich now for almost everyone’s long term best interest, which is to avoid lock-in to a single vendor. The best way to do this is to achieve consensus around open standards.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 18, 2008 at 6:22 pm


    There is a lot more to the Web than just presentation. Indexing for starters…

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