Today I received a comment on a Poll I created which asked the question “Will Flash developers learn Silverlight”? 20% said there was no chance unless Microsoft bought Adobe. Here is what the comment has to say.
“Nobody in their right mind will use SilverLight on the internet for a long time…..Until a user can just go to a page with SilverLight and use it, just like Flash, SilverLight won’t see the light of day on the Web….”
As one might imagine this response got me thinking, is making a user install a plugin a barrier to Silverlight adoption in the development community? Now certainly as a Silverlight MVP I am a bit biased, but there is no way anyone can convince me that the preexistence of a 4.6MB plugin has anything to do with developer adoption.
In my day job I manage a team of developers, mostly .NET but a few experts in Flash and Flex. Not to long ago I asked one of my senior Flash developers why he was so willing to learn Silverlight for a game project. His response was “Why would I not want to learn another tool that makes me even more marketable”.
Bravo! Silverlight isn’t about hunting down Flash in a global attempt to make it extinct. It’s not about one framework being better then the other. Its about choices. Choices push competition and competition pushed technology. Sure Microsoft might have its own agenda, but Silverlight gives developers and interactive sites a choice. If I had the time and energy I would love to learn every programing language on every platform. Boy would I have choices.
On 08-08-08 Silverlight 2.0 will be the technology used to broadcast over 2000 hours of the 2008 Summer Olympic games. If the last Olympics can predict anything, then NBC should expect over 4 billion television viewers in August. If even 10% watch some Olympics online, you are looking at 400 million Silverlight installs. I think it is fair to say that is a pretty nice jump on Silverlight market saturation.