Silverlight: the artist previously known as WPF/E
Not very surprisingly, Microsoft has dropped the horrible codename “WPF/E” and chosen an easier name for their upcoming “Flash killer” technology. But I didn’t expect it to be “Silverlight”? It sounds too much like “Flash” to my ears. On the other hand, I suppose “Blue and white electromagnetic discharge” was unavailable for registration. Anyway, I’m happy that the new name lacks an “X” as well as a year number.
As we already know, Silverlight is a light-weight interface hosted by the browser for providing rich graphics and stuff. Sounds familiar? Well, I mentioned “Flash killer” for a reason. But why would we want to use Silverlight, when Flash currently has total domination with 95 % browser penetration?
Regarding the issue with browser penetration, I’ve got only two words to say: “Windows Update”. Silverlight will reach your computer before you even know it.
“It’s kind of ironic to see Adobe – the big design company – taking steps to move into the developer and enterprise market, where Microsoft – the developer centric company – is moving in the other direction trying to appeal to the designer crowd.”
— Rick Strahl
Silverlight, Flash, WPF, Flex, Apollo… This will be a most interesting battleground in years to come.
MIX07 is coming up next week. Last year, the focus was IE7 and this year the spotlight is placed upon Silverlight. I really wish I had the time to revisit Las Vegas for this one.