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MS To Push Silverlight Via Redesigned Microsoft.com

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the bye-bye-html dept.

Microsoft 710

Marilyn M. writes "It looks like Microsoft is getting desperate about the dismal rates of Silverlight adoption by consumers and developers since its release earlier this year. According to NeoSmart Technologies, Microsoft is preparing a fully Silverlight-powered redesign of their website, doing away with most HTML pages entirely. With over 60 million unique users visiting Microsoft.com a month, Microsoft's last-ditch effort might be what it takes to breathe some life back into Silverlight. The article notes: 'At the moment, very few non-Microsoft-owned sites are using Silverlight at all; let alone for the entire UI.'"

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710 comments

Wow (1, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895040)

Requiring a silverlight download for the website?

That's 60 million people who won't go to microsoft.com anymore.

Re:Wow (3, Informative)

BadHaggis (1179673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895066)

If your not paying attention to your Windows Updates Microsoft will slip in the silverlight update for you. No website download necessary.

Breeze to Program (5, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895150)

The nice thing about Silverlight is that it is a breeze to program and work with.

I think, once the initial knee-jerk anti-MS crud is past, people won't mind. Just like any web/presentation technology, it has it's pros and cons. But look, to work with Silverlight, to create Silverlight, you don't need an expensive suite of tools.

Re:Breeze to Program (4, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895428)

As a developer, I'm waiting for Silverlight 2.0 so that I can use .Net languages instead of that heap of crap which is Javascript.

Re:Breeze to Program (4, Insightful)

devjj (956776) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895572)

As a developer, I'm waiting for an open-source solution, so that I'm not restricted to .NET languages, a single platform to develop on, etc.

Re:Breeze to Program (5, Insightful)

Reapman (740286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895438)

Last I checked all you need is notepad, vim, or emacs to build a rather snazzy CSS / HTML based site with fancy scripts if you want. I haven't worked with Silverlight but I have heard from others it is easy to work with, so it does have that. But as someone who rather likes not being tied to any 1 OS, be it OSX, Windows, or *nix, I'll stick with the truely open HTML option (ya I know Silverlight runs on most but that's more due to the grace of Microsoft than anything, and requires special libraries like Mono I think if your not running a main OS)

The thing is this ISNT just another web technology, this is a MICROSOFT technology, which historically has always ment you need to run a Microsoft Enironment to get the benefit out of it. Microsofts not evil, but they're not exactlly open either.

Re:Breeze to Program (4, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895594)

s/Silverlight/Flex 2.0/g

Except that basically everybody has a flash player running already, there are tons and tons more resources and libraries available to developers, and it works on every significant platform.... There are even open source players.

Flex/AS3 development is pretty damned easy. How much easier can Silverlight possibly be to justify deploying to a platform with significantly lower market penetration?

They're already spamming us (1, Insightful)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895340)

Every time I visit Microsoft now, I get an annoying popup telling me how great Silverlight is. It's horribly annoying, and doesn't exactly enhance my feeling about them as a company. If a product doesn't stand on its merit, telling me repeatedly how great it is simply turns me off. Personally I wish they'd be patient and use existing client standards. Making up new standards to suit your business model is frustrating as a developer.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

diodeus (96408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895374)

How to Google-proof your site in one easy step!

Re:Wow (1)

KevMar (471257) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895646)

Im in the dark on how silverlight works, but for some reason I was underthe impresion that its more XML based than compiled.

If thats the case, then it can be indexed. if not, forget i said anything.

wow, I didn't even realize it was a final product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895050)

But seriously, many flash sites only used it for part of the site, and had not flash options. Even if they picked up silverlight, why wouldn't they do the same? It strikes me as stupid to cut out a huge chunk of your audience by using a piece of technology they can't use, or can impede use for some reason (even if it improves aesthetics).

Firefox... (5, Funny)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895070)

If it doesn't work in Firefox, I'm not interested.

Oh wait... it does. Just kidding - still not interested.

Re:Firefox... (4, Insightful)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895140)

If it doesn't work in Firefox, I'm not interested.

I will add, if it does not work with Firefox/Linux, not interested.

Re:Firefox... (-1, Flamebait)

flanaganid (900938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895290)

How dare Microsoft not support Firefox for Linux on their almost-completely-unadopted-proprietary-motion-graphics-system-based site!

Re:Firefox... (3, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895480)

Hmmm... Ok so tell me how often are you going to be visiting the Microsoft website if you happen to be a Linux and Firefox user?

Probably 0....

So in other words they don't care about your situation because most likely you are not going to visit it. Makes completely logical sense actually.

Not that I think their strategy is great...

Re:Firefox... (5, Insightful)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895632)

Ok so tell me how often are you going to be visiting the Microsoft website if you happen to be a Linux and Firefox user?
Whenever a Windows-using acquaintance hoses their box and I have to boot a LiveCD to fix it.

Re:Firefox... (3, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895636)

Helping other people? Downloading stuff they need, putting it on a USB stick, and installing it at their place. I remember doing that for SP2 for people still on dial-up.

Re:Firefox... (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895672)

The problem is that they're pushing Silverlight as an alternative to Flash on a much broader scale, something that will likely cause major problems down the road. If it were exclusive to the Microsoft website I'd agree with you.

Re:Firefox... (3, Insightful)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895610)

If it doesn't work in Firefox, I'm not interested.

I will add, if it does not work with Firefox/Linux, not interested.

Will you be interested when it does work with Linux, which it's supposed to do "at the beginning of 2008" [novell.com]?

For those interested in Linux/Silverlight info, the Linux version is called "Moonlight" [novell.com] and is being developed by Novell with Microsoft's help.

Re:Firefox... (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895722)

So Silverlight WON'T run on Linux, But a different software package called moonlight developed by Novell will run Silverlight applications...

I'm surprised (3, Interesting)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895106)

that they haven't made it one if its 'critical updates' or even the proverbial forced 'back door' updates that no one knows about until you suddenly find it on your machine. The idea of Silverlight seems pretty cool since I'm a .Net junky myself, but still like the ubiquity and semi-platform independence of Flash.

Re:I'm surprised (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895242)

what proverb makes reference to a "forced back door"? Is the goatse guy writing fortune cookies now?

News flash! (5, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895122)

Company tries to spur adoption of their technology by actually using it themselves! The ultimate act of desperation!

Film at 11.

Seriously? Wouldn't it be a bit more suspect if the *didn't* use it?

Re:News flash! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895260)

seriously, stop playing with me.. I have been waiting for all these news items at 11 on my tv, but somehow keep missing them.. which channel are they on?

Re:News flash! (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895280)

Seriously? Wouldn't it be a bit more suspect if the *didn't* use it?

It's not about them using it themselves.

It's about them leveraging an existing product to force the adoption of a new product.

Re:News flash! (0)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895382)

You mean like pretty much every other company either does or tries to do?

Re:News flash! (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895498)

You mean like pretty much every other company either does or tries to do?

This [adobe.com] site doesn't force me to use Flash.

Re:News flash! (5, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895604)

Not all companies.

I have a Panasonic camera. They could have developed a proprietary memory format like Sony did, but it uses plain old cheap SD cards.

They could have made the lens threads a weird size so they could sell their own teleconverters and filters, but it's plain old 55mm, and people have quite happily screwed Olympus, Nikon, Minolta, etc. stuff onto them.

Some companies do just make useful stuff and sell it, but they're not the ones that make the news as often, since they mostly stay out of the spotlight and just sit around making stuff and money.

In the computer world, Logitech is sort of like this. They've not tried to integrate their speakers with their mice (Microsoft would find a way to do this!), and instead just try to make useful products that stand on their own merit.

Re:News flash! (2)

saider (177166) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895490)

It's about them leveraging an existing product to force the adoption of a new product.

How does Microsoft's use of one of their products translate into forcing other companies or websites to use it?

Because many people will have a client installed? Me having a flash client does not "force" any company to use flash. Instead it becomes another option.

Now, if they disabled some competing system when Silverlight is installed, then you're talking collusion. But there is no evidence of that here. This is not the conspiracy you are looking for.

Re:News flash! (4, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895706)

ok, I'll bite. Did you see that part about them coding their webpages( microsoft.com ) in silverlight with no HTML? Could that not be another case where if you need to go to their site for support or information, you must now install sliverlight to view that pages? They have a monopoly and were convicted of abusing that monopoly along with getting taken to court of these kinds of issues dozens of times. It is not just a case of them eating their own dog-food, it sounds like they are forcing their dog-shit into the hands of their customers for the benefit of their monopoly. Flash is a threat to them because not only is it installed on over 90% of OEM installed Windows based computers, Adobe has added alot of capabilities to it for rich media access.

BTW, this will only effect me when someone points out something stupid Microsoft did on their sight and I get to check it out for a good laugh. Those who are Windows users are mostly clueless of how they are being manipulated and attempts to open their eyes regarding this is pretty useless. But I still try every now and then. ;-/

LoB

Re:News flash! (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895516)

You mean like sites that don't work properly without Flash?

Re:News flash! (2, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895750)

Unless the site in question is owned and operated by Adobe, then no... that's just shitty design.

As noted by someone else already, Adobe's website does not require Flash. SOME pages use it, sure, but the site does not become broken and unusable without it. All their pages are ubiquitous HTML/CSS design.
=Smidge=

You mean, like using linux? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895556)

Wouldn't it be a bit more suspect if the *didn't* use it?


You mean, like the way MS uses Linux on servers, and how a lot of its staff use Firefox? ;)

Thanks? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895128)

I guess I should thank Microsoft for preventing me from visiting their website. Although knowing them they'll force it on us through a Service Pack or automatic update.

MSDN Library (3, Insightful)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895130)

It's bad enough MSDN Library still doesn't work properly with Firefox after three years of using it. It took until last year for Microsoft.com to work even remotely well in a non-IE browser... I can only imagine how many people will stop using microsoft.com altogether.

If it wasn't required to visit windowsupdate.com, it would be the nail in IE's coffin.

Let's make MS Help EVEN Worse (3, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895142)


Wow, Microsoft help is already terrible enough. MSDN right now is such a mishmash, that, when I took the survey to improve MSDN, the survey itself crashed. Like, I don't even bother with Microsoft.com anymore, or msdn.microsoft.com. They broke F1 == Help in Visual Studio... what more incompetence do you need?

Re:Let's make MS Help EVEN Worse (5, Funny)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895258)

You should have seen how badly the member website for Microsoft Certified Professionals crapped out when I tried getting in. The error message actually displayed a Guid.

And yes, I'm completely aware of the irony.

Re:Let's make MS Help EVEN Worse (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895540)

You should have seen how badly the member website for Microsoft Certified Professionals crapped out when I tried getting in. The error message actually displayed a Guid.

That's just too funny.

WARNING: Incredibly Morose Statement Following (4, Funny)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895144)

So... let's be realistic, how long before everyone's using this instead of Flash? My dib's on three years.

Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (4, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895168)

TBH though, I am a .Net developer, so I may have a bit of bias. But the power and ease of development that Silver Light gives you is very impressive. It's not the right tool for every job, but for multi-media intensive, widely distributed apps, from the tools I've seen, it definitely has some great advantages.

-Rick

Re:Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895354)

You're asking Slashdot readers to objectively evaluate MS software instead of rehashing the usual bias and one liners? Like that's actually gonna happen...

Re:Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895492)

Man, I am not disagreeing with you, but if you're going to post something like that, you ought to say WHAT the 'great advantages' are. Because, as far as I can see, it has some serious DISADVANTAGES in that it only runs on Windows in IE. Also, it is proprietary and yes, it comes from Microsoft, which has a strong past record of putting business before functionality, and frequently resisting making their stuff interoperable.
So, I am not saying you are wrong, but what about Silverlight is 'pretty damn cool?'

Re:Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895710)

it has some serious DISADVANTAGES in that it only runs on Windows in IE

No, that is incorrect. While not truly cross platform, it supports Firefox, IE (on various Windows versions) and Safari (on various versions of Mac OS 10).

See the requirements page. [microsoft.com]

The real value of Silverlight (4, Insightful)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895552)

All trolling and MS-hating aside, Silverlight is not meant for the World Wide Web. Rather, it is, like many other Microsoft products (SharePoint, PerformancePoint, BizTalk, etc) for the corporate intranet. The corporate IT department can simply force the software onto everybody's computer, and the developers can easily develop a *real* UI without having to fumble around with trying to make HTML behave like Windows Forms.

Yeah, but that silverlight icon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895618)

Doesn't it look like they are trying to sell feminine pads?

Re:Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895658)

From what I've seen you'd be better off using Java. At least that's available on almost any computer and cross-platform. If Silverlight can do anything Java can't, that only means that Microsoft should have invested its development time in improving or creating relevant Java classes.

Re:Silver Light is actually pretty damn cool (1)

Roc1 (1046132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895664)

Mod parent up. Silverlight is an incredible technology, and version 2.0 will be much more than a media distribution framework. Dot NET 3.5 and VS 2008 are impressive as well. Microsoft deserves a lot of criticism in some areas (Vista, IE, and their overall business practices to name a few) but the development groups are releasing innovative products. Check out LINQ, the Dynamic Language Runtime and new C# language features for a start.

Vertical integration could backfire (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895186)

Vertical integration uses market share as a lever. One day, MS is going to leverage its market share so much that it breaks.

They want a world where everyone uses either only MS products or not at all? The path of least resistance will eventually lead away from MS.

What is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895190)

So what is Silverlight and why would I want it. No, seriously.

Re:What is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895426)

So what is Silverlight and why would I want it. No, seriously.
It's Microsoft's Flash clone.

The big new feature is that, as of the next version, you can write the behind-the-scenes scripts in .NET not JavaScript/ActionScript. This makes it much more efficient. I think there's also a larger set of APIs for the .NET version.

History repeating (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895200)

I remember when Netscape introduced frames, they changed the netscape.com website to use them. It lasted a few months, then they realised how silly they were and changed their website back.

Silverlight may be good for embedded applets and for applications, but it's ludicrous to use it for an entire website. I expect that Microsoft will shortly figure this out.

Re:History repeating (2, Insightful)

mpthompson (457482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895676)

Once Google fails to index Microsoft content (I'm assuming they don't yet index text in Silverlight content) and page visits drop off they'll certainly change back to HTML just as you describe.

If I was a marketing manager for another Microsoft product, I wouldn't be happy with the Silverlight folks forcing me to limit my content to people who have Silverlight installed. Of course, perhaps they are all drinking the coolaid.

Poor marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895206)

I've never understood the chosen marketing strategy for Silverlight. The big advantage IMO is that you can use XAML to design an interface that works in both the browser and on the desktop. That is something that has some real potential in the world of business apps. Unfortunately they got to about 90% compatibility between WPF and Silverlight and then decided to market it as a tool for making Flash-y web sites.

SEO (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895216)

How does affect their SEO status? Flash is pretty much crap for SEO with most flash content being extremely non search engine friendly (mainly due to the inability to link to a certain page within a flash file).

Re:SEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895394)

Something tells me they're not worried about SEO when Windows defaults to MSN as the home page...

Re:SEO (1)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895708)

From what I have gathered, google indexes only 13 different file types [google.com] for SEO purposes, with the XAML of SilverLight not being among those counted. The thinking is that because Microsoft Live Search will obviously index XAML pages that Google will quickly follow suit so as to not lose a competitive edge with the MS search engine.

Keeps crashing. I have pulled it. (4, Informative)

hughk (248126) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895226)

I have a new DELL laptop with XP SP2 on it (no way was I going to get Vista on it). Silverlight crashes both in Firefox and in IE7, even on a system that is has almost no other apps. I have pulled silverlight as something that may work someday, but at the moment is a pile of donkey poo.

Re:Keeps crashing. I have pulled it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895590)

I have a new DELL laptop with XP SP2 on it (no way was I going to get Vista on it). Silverlight crashes both in Firefox and in IE7, even on a system that is has almost no other apps. I have pulled silverlight as something that may work someday, but at the moment is a pile of donkey poo.


Sure, the parent is using a Dell system, but is that really grounds to call him a troll? Or is "monkey poo" too vulgar? :P

Seriously though, he has a constructive comment. The parent has a relatively modern computer, and Silverlight is unstable on it. One has to wonder if he is (and will be) the only one in trouble when MS forces more pages to be built on Silverlight.

creators pushing newclear power/planet re-design (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895232)

you can bet your .asp fuddles won't be supporting this move.

if the 'options' do not suit you, consider just following the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn. anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile;

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

Bullet Point Three (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895308)

The Silverlight part of the interface is almost wholly unnecessary. It's really nice to use, it's smooth, it's easy, and it's beautiful - but it's nothing that requires a RIA in the first place. Microsoft could have easily implemented the same user experience (give or take) with HTML + JavaScript/AJAX; with a lot less effort and greater compatibility.

That bit, the third numbered bullet, is what matters. They aren't doing something special, they are just forcing their technology on others because they can. Now I'm kind of interested in seeing what happens, because frankly I think MS's current site is a mess (I can never find what I'm looking for). But if they are going to push something like this they should go all out and demonstrate what it can do, not just use it in place of JavaScript (which they tried to replace with VBScript and failed) and AJAX (which they invented, to a degree).

Re:Bullet Point Three (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895780)

That bit, the third numbered bullet, is what matters.

If you regard "NeoSmart Technologies can exclusively reveal..." as an indisputable statement of fact, I suppose. The whole story, including Silverlight market share, seems to have been completely invented by them.

I'm curious how some obviously anti-Microsoft group (one which seems to mostly produce bootloader mods!) was given inside access to a secret Microsoft project -- and why such a project is "currently in beta". Certainly a different definition of "beta" than Google uses.

Beginning of the end? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895314)

Is this the beginning of the end of Microsoft's stranglehold upon the computing industry, or will this further cement Microsoft's stranglehold upon the computing industry?

Will Microsoft leverage its dominance once again to force a sub-standard product upon the computing public?

Re:Beginning of the end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895686)

No, yes, and yes.

Yeah but (2, Insightful)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895330)

Does it come with a perl silverlight-generating library ? Because I can make flash on the fly now; is silverlight open ? Does it script ?

Re:Yeah but (2, Informative)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895486)

It's a heavily reduced subset of .NET, so if you (have some tool that) can generate MSIL, you'r basically set. XAML, and the Silverlight subset, can also be generated quite easily. (As far as Microsoft XML formats go, it's not too bad.)

WTF is Silverlight? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895332)

Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question. What does MS think they're doing, naming a rock band? MS used to have utilitarian (though descriptive) names for their products. Access, Word, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, Windows. Silverlight doesn't tell me anything about what it does. While some may argue that Flash is the same thing, at least with Flash, once you saw it in action, you understood the name.

Re:WTF is Silverlight? (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895450)

Actually, they started the weird name thing when they changed the name of OLE (Object Linked Environment) to "ActiveX". Seriously, what did they think they were going to do? Convince the programmers that rather than sitting in their chairs gathering cobwebs while they coded away, they would actually be out playing Tennis and Windsurfing while using it? (And then we'll stick an "X" on the end, 'cause everybody knows "X"es are cool.)

Re:WTF is Silverlight? (3, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895620)

Yeah, they should use a sensible name with a product description like iPod, Gnome and Dreamweaver.

Oh, wait...

search engine issues? (3, Insightful)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895356)

I'm guessing only mircrsofts search engine will be able to index pages buried on the revised microsoft.com site until other search engines add silver-light navigation to their crawlers?

I don't know about anyone else but I use Google to find KB articles.

Re:search engine issues? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895792)

That is my biggest concern. Maybe it's part of an overall strategy to get you sucked into their Windows Live platform. Basically you can only find their stuff through *their* search engine.

Waiting for 1.1 (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895388)

I think most developers are just waiting for version 1.1 to come out of the alpha stage. (1.0 is javascript based, but 1.1 is suppose to let you code in several other languages, like C# and Python).

But will it validate to W3C standards? (1)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895404)

I'm quite certain it'll render marvelously in Safari on my Mac. Absolutely perfectly. 'cuse me while I stop laughing.

More anti-competitive behavior? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895418)

Silverlight currently only supports Firefox of the Gecko browsers - it blocks all other Gecko-based browsers [geckoisgecko.org] even though they'd be completely compatible. One has to wonder whether explicitly supporting only Firefox is an intentional move to limit competition in the browser market.

Silverlight, the new Flash (1)

dokebi (624663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895500)

I hate Flash based web pages, as it is low on content and high on irritability, and un-googlable. That's why many good websites use flash sparingly, only for specific features that'll benefit from it. I'm not surprised MS is following in everyone else's footsteps.

Huh?! (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895504)

With over 60 million unique users visiting Microsoft.com a month, Microsoft's last-ditch effort might be what it takes to breathe some life back into Silverlight
WTF? Silverlight's not dead already is it? Not that I actually care.

Rock vs hard place (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895510)

I dislike MS as much as most here. However, I do very much welcome any competition for Adobe.

I'd like to think that the consumer will be the winner in this -- although MS and Adobe are probably the two least customer-centered large software firms out there.

The world seriously needs something better than Flash. Sadly, I doubt that Silverlight is going to be better, although it is likely to be relatively successful. Big content providers like mlb.com are already testing it. It must be very DRM friendly.

We've needed a Flash solution for a decade. It's lame that MS is the only company to make any effort in this field.

P.S. Flashblock plugin developers, I'm going to be needing a silverlightblock plugin too, I do hope your working on one.

Desperate? (3, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895538)

It looks like Microsoft is getting desperate about the dismal rates of Silverlight adoption by consumers and developers since its release earlier this year. [..] With over 60 million unique users visiting Microsoft.com a month [..]
How is that a desperate move? It would be extremely stupid of Microsoft if they didn't change it to Silverlight, considering the fact that many of their pages currently use Flash. And if they have 60 million unique hits - why not? Are we calling Adobe desperate for using Flash on their site?

Great (1)

petehead (1041740) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895554)

Yet another site that won't work on my mobile phone (even with pocket IE - the worst browser in history) or my N800...

Come on... (3, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895628)

It looks like Microsoft is getting desperate about the dismal rates of Silverlight adoption by consumers and developers since its release earlier this year

This is just about as ridiculous as it gets. Let's at least get 'facts' out of the way.

Face #1, The final version of Silverlight 1.0 was released just a couple of months ago. Even the designers (Blend, etc) haven't had full final version native support for over a month. Do you really think MS is 'desperate' that in a month or two every web site in the world hasn't converted?

Fact #2, MS already has a large following of providers preparing and starting stream and video based web video content sites based on Silverlight. Since it can do things like flip channels as fast a TV, etc companies looking to provide multi-stream content are going with Silverlight as it is the only viable solution - let alone the only multi-platform solution.

Fact #3, a majority of Video pushed over the web is already in VC1/WMV format, yes this sounds strange with all the flash/Tube sites, but Windows Media is still either at the very top or close. Silverlight natively uses the same content, so for any site using WMV content already, they will flip to silverlight, as it will increase their user base.

Fact #4, Silverlight is about a 2mb download, I see posts where people seem to think this is a big issue, are these people still using 2400baud modems?

Fact #5, The major version of SilverLight is Version 1.1, and can be downloaded by developers/end users. Version 1.1 is the major version as 1.0 is only the graphical and video portion of the technology with limited UI abilities. (1.0 is the basic drawing and compatibility layers, and MS doesn't expect most people to consider Silverlight until 1.1, that is why the 'standard developer version they offer is 1.1, not 1.0) Silverlight 1.1 adds in the UI basic interface technologies like simple control events, additional hit testing, etc. Without 1.1.

The Microsoft Download site has been Silverlight based for a few weeks, but it is a conceptual site, and it is demonstrated to developers of multiple page content areas can interact beyond a single SilverLight Control.

Fact #6, a Silverlight based Website does not mean the entire page is based on Silverlight or the page is shown in only one Silverlight control like Flash based web design is. Silverlight is light enough that each Image element can be replaced with a Silverlight Object instead, and when needed, Silverlight Objects can use standard client/server scripting for communication and functionality between the Objects.

It would be easier to think of Silverlight like a 'fancy' image object that can be scripted, take events, and talk to the client/server and other image objects on the page. This is what makes silverlight ahead of Flash, even before v1.1 is released.

Now with facts out of the way, this makes a freaking difference in the OSS world how? One proprietary company/product is competing against another that is just as nefarious, and they are BOTH winning against ALL OSS solutions.

Maybe OSS should actually be pushing for Silvelight to win, as you can at least create Silverlight content in notepad for free, and aren't forced to buy a massive Adobe illustration package just to put a few pretty buttons or videos on your site.

Back to the anti-Microsoft goose-stepping...

Wait for 1.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21895682)

I'm waiting for 1.1 when they get the DLR up and running before I even consider Silverlight.

They shouldn't be surprised... (1)

TheIndifferentiate (914096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895692)

The reason they haven't seen the uptake of Silverlight they would have liked is due to the same phenomenon that's keeping Windows on the desktop--Inertia. Why would I jump to rewrite a perfectly good website to "take advantage" of Silverlight just because Microsoft releases it. I think it may be a nice tool in the chest for when the time to look at updating the site may come along, but I probably wouldn't waste my time taking a working website or Flash program and rewriting it for Silverlight. Also, to help prepare them for the disappointment, they may hype on how much more people like Microsoft.com after they release the new Silverlight version, but don't expect the hoped for uptake of Silverlight because of that. Microsoft.com is an abysmally designed and maintained website for such a prominent technology company to have--Anything will be an improvement.

slow adoption? (2)

jason777 (557591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895698)

I dont know why it was worded to sound like Silverlight isnt being adopted by developers. Everyone at my company is excited about Silverlight, and I am currently rebuilding an application in Silverlight. The MIX events from Microsoft were very successful. Telerik and many other vendors already have control sets out for Silverlight.

I think its a very good technology. As a .net developer, there was essentially no learning curve for me to be able to do some pretty slick things on the web.

A new attempt to monopolizing the net ? (2, Informative)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895702)

Microsoft didn't succeed at monopolizing the net by bastardizing HTML, and their introduction of ActiveX controls.
Is Silverlight just another attempt to try and push a Windows-only technology onto the net?

By getting rid of HTML and by using Silverlight, MS are going to sit on the specifications. They are definitely not going to share the Silverlight internals with the rest of us.

What about W2K, Windows Update & corporations? (0, Troll)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895704)

Let's see, there are still millions of people using W2K yet there's no Silverlight for it. I guess those people won't be allowed to access Microsoft.com... (Read the system requirements [microsoft.com]--Silverlight 1.1 will supposedly support W2K, but that's months away...)

What about Windows Update? Will there be a special "Windows Update for W2K" until Silverlight 1.1 appears?

Why is M$ only supporting PowerPC Macs with Silverlight 1.0 and not 1.1?

How will corporations take to having Silverlight installed on their W2K, XP, & Vista PCs--in all likelihood against their wills by way of an automatic update--despite having automatic updates disabled? (Microsoft recently did this [aeroxp.org]...)

Could all of this be due to a lack of trust in Microsoft???

Warning! MS inexorable business model... (3, Insightful)

ifknot (811127) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895770)

1. Via silverlight MS is going to leverage its huge install base to move to the next phase of its business model - i.e. "adapt". 2. Over time silverlight uptake will adapt your web access to their proprietry model. 3. When this process of adaption is well beyond a critical point the benevolence towards other OSes will end and no new vesions of Silverlight will appear for Linux or OSX. 4. Javascript will be replaced with .NET, the adaption will be complete. 5. HTML & Javascript will wither on the vine or a small second tier web will co-exist. 6. MS will own the web. This is key to MS survival so if you think they are pushing Silverlight with a few irritating pop-ups... "you ain't seen nothing yet!"

Silverlight schmilverlight - it wont work (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21895790)

there are zillions of websites using already established and working formats. it doesnt matter what programmers, designers, lead developers in deep recesses of pompously decorated offices think - users are satisfied with what's on the web. and they are the decision maker. ms wont be able to 'push' anything to anyone by changing their site - the mere fact that they had to redesign their OWN site to 'push' their thing proves that noone cares for it in the first place.

its not 90s anymore. you cant 'push' anything to anyone. you have to do what the users want.
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