07.05.10

Silverlight is Marginalised, Even MSNBC (Microsoft-NBC) Rejects It

Posted in DRM, Microsoft at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Silverlight

Summary: Silverlight is fading into the distant horizon as attempt to create the illusion of Silverlight adoption meets a permanent roadblock

OVER THE PAST week we’ve found just one headline that mentioned Silverlight, which Novell is aping. The only headline that we found is from this Information Week blog post, published by Dave Methvin. The headline asks, “Is Silverlight A Dead End?”

Microsoft’s original spin on Silverlight was that it “provides enhanced Web audio and video streaming and playback.” That’s still front-and-center with Silverlight 4.0, including delivery of DRM-protected content in dedicated devices. So Microsoft is certainly realistic about what people really do with Silverlight — most of the time it’s just being used as a video player. Video playback is a common use for Flash as well, but at least Flash has a decent-sized installed base of non-video-player applications.

[...]

Ultimately, it seems like Silverlight is destined to become a niche product. Microsoft plans to use it for Windows Phone 7 development, so it’s not going to disappear. Yet it’s very unlikely that Silverlight will (or should) be used for developing Internet web sites.

Reported signs of Silverlight adoption problems go as far back as 2008. But Novell tried helping it and it is still actively helping it. Microsoft MVP de Icaza habitually writes about it and drools.

In reality, Silverlight is a “dead end” as Methvin labelled it. Even Microsoft-affiliated sites like MSNBC won’t touch the thing. From last week’s news:

Gone are the narrow columns of text flanked by related-story boxes and banner ads. The news site – a partnership between Microsoft and NBC Universal – has an enriched video player, a widened text area, isolated slideshows, a highlighted discussion section, easier navigation and a layout for it all that’s friendlier to today’s visually demanding displays and devices.

[...]

Except for the fact msnbc.com’s video player uses Adobe Flash. (Interesting, by the way, that it’s not Microsoft Silverlight.)

Also from last week’s news:

The news site operated by Microsoft and NBC is rolling out the biggest redesign in its 14-year history.

[...]

It’s built with Adobe’s Flash technology and not Microsoft’s Silverlight “because of the adoption rate,” Wells said, and because Flash video ads are standard in the ad industry.

If Microsoft’s own Web properties don’t embrace Silverlight, why should anyone else? Microsoft rejects its own dogfood.

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