Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.210.27.34

Forum Moderators: phranque

Message Too Old, No Replies

Microsoft Announces Silverlight, Plug-in For Web Interactive Apps

previously called Windows® Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E)

     
3:02 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:26233
votes: 995


Microsoft Launches 'Silverlight' in What it calls "the Next Generation of Media Experiences on the Web"

Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft® Silverlight™, a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc.

Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows® Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery. Delivered to end users through a seamless, fast installation, Silverlight offers consistent experiences to both Macintosh and Windows users on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer®, Firefox and Safari.

Microsoft Launches Silverlight, Plug-in For Web Interactive Apps [microsoft.com]

3:06 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:June 11, 2003
posts:417
votes: 0


Is this some kind of alternative to Flash or something that will allow full size two-way programs/applications to be developed and run over the web?
3:42 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 16, 2004
posts:1343
votes: 5


If this is such a compelling, ground-breaking technology, why do I have to sift through statements like:

"Silverlight is the only solution in the market today that enables content creators to tap into the broad ecosystem for Windows Media® technologies while taking the Web’s rich interactive application experience to new levels."

What a load of BS.... Ecosystem?

If this is a typical Microsoft release, it will be a clone of something else that already exists, (like Shockwave/Flash) and MSFT wants to kill because it can't control or profit from.

4:21 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 26, 2005
posts:3041
votes: 0


Why?
4:28 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 16, 2004
posts:1343
votes: 5


jtara: Why?

Why what?

4:46 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 22, 2002
posts:1751
votes: 0


Well, this may become serious competition to Flash. Competition usually leads to better products and lower prices. Competition is good.

[microsoft.com...]

Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in

It doesn't work in Opera, or on Linux, or on Mac OS X < 10.4.8, or on Win2K, or on Win98/ME. Not really cross-browser or cross-platform, IMHO.

[edited by: RonPK at 5:05 pm (utc) on April 16, 2007]

5:19 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 2, 2006
posts:82
votes: 0


This appears to be the runtime for WPFE. Windows Presentation Foundation that is all based in XAML which
is xml based graphics. In short order, there will be all sorts of renders for various operating systems.
Having seen how easy it is to do some fantastic things without a great deal of effort or even being required to purchase development tools (you could write XAML in notepad), I'll bet this catches on a lot faster than people think.
5:41 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 21, 2001
posts:1281
votes: 0


As far as I can tell (and its not clear), this is a Flash substitute, i.e. Vector graphics, Video, Animation, Interactivity...

I assume MS are doing this because they want some of Adobe's market, but I think they missed that boat about 7 years ago.

1.) You have to download a plugin: Who's going to bother?

2.) Why would developers use this when they love flash for media stuff? There is no way I would risk the change (learning curve + cost + unpopular) when Flash works very nicely.

5:43 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 26, 2005
posts:3041
votes: 0


Why what?

Microsoft Launches 'Silverlight' in What it calls "the Next Generation of Media Experiences on the Web"
6:03 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 16, 2004
posts:1343
votes: 5


Responses to Silverlight PR from news sources:

CNET:
[news.com.com...]

Wired:
[blog.wired.com...]

eWeek:
[eweek.com...]

6:20 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 10, 2004
posts:1342
votes: 0


Microsoft is doing this because web apps are the new way of doing business - the new OS. They want to control that OS (naturally), and XAML (Silverlight) is their attempt to do.

Adobe is striking as well, with Flex and MXML, plus Apollo.

8:46 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 2, 2006
posts:82
votes: 0


XAML is not the same thing as Flash or any other video engine. It enables you to write user interfaces of all sorts of shapes, sizes, functionality, and visual aspects in a standardized way. You can use it to more easily write things like 4 dimensional spinning cubed user interface forms all the way up to incorporating and manipulating video at runtime. Today, these types of things can be written is just much harder and time consuming.

In the near future, you will see windows based apps and web based apps commonly written in XAML. They will no longer have to be completely separate entities written with entirely different tools and methodologies.

The graphic rendering engine will be included as part of the MS OS. Also, another major benefit for MS oriented developers is that it is now much, much easier to separate out user interface components to graphics folks and instantly tie their artistic creations into business/database logic written by programmers with no
"tweaking". It is pretty seamless.

If you want an idea on this stuff check out "Expression Blend" in google. This is one of the first XAML tools from Microsoft with a bunch of 3rd parties to come along later.

9:07 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 2, 2005
posts:52
votes: 0


I still get a kick when I go to microsoft.com

Looks like they're STILL using adobe's flash. They could have at least taken the FULL step and moved everything over. (the changed their windows vista page and took away the flash content :)

10:19 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member from US 

joined:June 2, 2003
posts:376
votes: 0


"Looks like [Microsoft] they're STILL using adobe's flash."

These kind of transitions take time.

In my case, I have always avoided using Flash.

9:03 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 23, 2003
posts:915
votes: 0


You can use it to more easily write things like 4 dimensional spinning cubed user interface forms

In the near future, you will see windows based apps and web based apps commonly written in XAML. They will no longer have to be completely separate entities written with entirely different tools and methodologies.

Two points on this:

1. Ever heard of Usability? I don't think spinning cubes as a UI element will become standard for a while yet. This smells like a solution looking for a problem...

2. Could you give us a clue when "the near future" is going to happen? The cynic in me remembers reading (in a MSFT press release no doubt) that Managed Code was the One True Way Forward - and then it turned out that most of Vista is written in unmanaged code. If Managed Code isn't good enough for MSFT, why should I (or my clients) bother?

Tell you what - how about MSFT promise their next OS will ship with most components built using XAML, *then* we might believe it's worth looking at.

9:07 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 23, 2003
posts:915
votes: 0


If you want an idea on this stuff check out "Expression Blend" in google. This is one of the first XAML tools from Microsoft with a bunch of 3rd parties to come along later.

Oh, and when I check out Expression Blend the first thing I see is this quote:

Expression Blend is the professional design tool to create engaging web-connected experiences for Windows.

...err, this sounds very much like people who don't run Windows won't get the "experience". Is that really the case?

1:22 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 2, 2006
posts:82
votes: 0


If you haven't read my profile yet, your assumption that I'm a programmer is dead on. I've already begun the process of learning XAML and its capabilities. In fact, I have a pretty solid grasp of its strengths and weaknesses.

Having seen some impressive user interfaces developed in XAML and what it took to create them, I can tell you that the average developer and/or graphics person is going to be able to develop user interfaces that are fantastic yet initially unfamiliar to the average user.

One of those was a data mining and display tool that put its interface on a 3 dimensional cube allowing a user to see two sides of the analysis at the same time. I could see how a user might really like that.

The near future is now. It will take awhile for developers to adapt to this new way of building user interfaces, awhile to ponder new ways of doing things, awhile to comprehend the consequences of their design decisions in a windows and browser environment, and awhile to build them.

Xaml is not explicitly tied to Microsoft Windows. Other OS platforms will be able to come up with their own rendering engines that read these same Xaml files. Now, how they just to process the underlying business logic (if applicable) is a different story. That said, people have already ported the .NET framework to non windows platforms.

It isn't a stretch to see either of these grow in use with platforms other than windows.

I'm not terribly excited about having to once again learn an entirely new technology but its demonstrated capabilities make it awfully hard to knock or ignore.

11:59 am on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 23, 2003
posts:915
votes: 0


(...) the average developer and/or graphics person is going to be able to develop user interfaces that are fantastic yet initially unfamiliar to the average user.

Is a "fanastic yet initially unfamiliar" UI supposed to be an advantage? :-)

When I'm the one paying for software I want it to be easy to use, and I don't want to spend large sums on retraining (myself or anyone else) before I become productive. and yes, for what it's worth, I think the Office 2007 UI is awful...

[an interface...] on a 3 dimensional cube allowing a user to see two sides of the analysis at the same time. I could see how a user might really like that.

"Users might like that"? In the sense that users like Vista's eye candy UI for the first half hour, but after that if you switch them back to the Classic UI they appreciate the speed and responsiveness of it even better?

Have you read User Interface Design For Programmers [joelonsoftware.com]? Here's one of the best quotes:

A user interface is well-designed when the program behaves exactly how the user thought it would.
1:34 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 2, 2006
posts:82
votes: 0


You are making pretty negative comments on something you apparently have never seen.

XAML and WPF don't force bad or good UI design. They offer incredibly advanced capabilities and make them easier to implement by developers.

And yes, the 3 dimensional app I saw was quite intuitive and impressive. Every other advanced XAML based UI I've seen was equally as intuitive. Much of this depends on the developer/requirements and not on the toolset itself.

I agree, I hate office 2007 and am not thrilled by windows vista either. If I wanted a coloring book, I would have bought a MAC.

Sometimes, I wonder what is going on in Redmond these days...