I seriously never liked the whole Silverlight vs Flash and now don’t like the Flash vs HTML 5 arguments out there but Microsoft’s [MSFT] announcement strikes a familiar chord with me. I’m seeing this from a different perspective since I’m not a Silverlight developer by default [only if you pay me to do it].
I’m not trying to stick a fork in Silverlight. I think focusing it on mobile, WPF on desktop, and HTML 5 as the cross-platform choice might turn out well for MSFT. Sure, developers are probably jilted as all get out but they’ll get over it or change platforms, highly unlikely. I truly like Silverlight and would love to see it on Android and iOS but I doubt it will happen. If history proves correct, MSFT will keep it on Windows devices just like .NET…well…it is based on .NET so that’s an easy argument.
What interests me is all of the blog fodder floating around about “Hey…you want Flash on iOS…I want Silverlight on Android!” I saw it recently from @aral and others. It interests because now MSFT has drawn a line in the sand and clearly set their goals as HTML 5 for cross-platform development. Wait…what? That was Silverlight 1-4’s job, right? Yep…sure was. Silverlight will still get use but it is most likely going to be a streaming platform solely for desktop. The other uses will diminish as MSFT pushes the HTML 5 initiative much faster.
Bottom line…MSFT sees the writing on the wall, IMO. iOS is king and Silverlight isn’t getting an invite to the party. If Flash has Android, Blackberry Playbook [potentially others soon], and the remaining 17 mobile partners [all except iOS]…why try to push Silverlight as mobile cross-platform as well? They are clearly going with what can get them on the most devices and that is HTML 5.
It was an interesting battle [Flash vs Silverlight] but this is a clear win for Flash as the cross-platform plugin and just maybe it will silence the unintelligent argument of wanting “java applets…Silverlight…and Real Player” on Android…just maybe.
The biggest question is: Will we see a similar “win” in 5 hours after HTML 5 has had room to roam? I doubt it but who saw this coming 5 years ago? If you did, you lie or have a time machine. 🙂
PS – [for those curious] The argument is unintelligent because it is simply a notch Android haters use to try and deflate the “Android has Flash…iOS doesn’t” argument. Pfft! Unintelligent. I respect @aral immensely but that argument is terribly weak, especially now.