“Microsoft Silverlight Pits High Def WMV Against Flash For Web Streaming”. This was a headline from Gizmodo.
So while you were all too busy with Apples announcements at NAB, Microsoft made a little announcement of their own. Silverlight. What is it? A development platform and browser plugin, a direct competitor to Flash. Video and interactivity, vector graphics, cross platform. The big feature seems to be HD video. And at first I thought: HD video? What’s so revolutionary? What about WMV9? What about QuickTime?
Even if Microsoft shows off Silverlight with some hot new movie trailers, there is more to Silverlight than just video. Indeed it is just like Flash. You could make games with it!
A couple of things I like about Silverlight: chapters markers. Just like a DVD. That’s neat. I know DivX has it too, but who cares. When was the last time you saw DivX implemented on a website? And it has this nice little button you can click to play the video full screen. Again, just like Flash – but why isn’t this in QuickTime? So many times I watch a QuickTime video on a website, and I wish I could just double-click it or something to play it full screen.
My biggest concern however: can Microsoft pull it off? Flash is a very popular technology. People know the development tools, and it IS powerful. Even if CS3 was just released (and I wouldn’t expect a new major version in another year or two), how difficult would it be for Adobe to add HD video, one of Silverlight’s major selling points (if it’s not already there)?
Plus, isn’t one of the reasons why Flash is so popular for video, the simple fact that it comes pre-installed on mostly every computer? Ah, and Silverlight is Windows and Mac, no Linux. Flash on the other hand…