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Little Demand Yet For Silverlight Developers

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the they-can-afford-to-wait dept.

Windows 314

ericatcw writes "At its Mix08 Web development conference, Microsoft said that its Silverlight rich Internet application platform is downloaded and installed an average of 1.5 million times every day; Microsoft has a goal of 200 million installs by midyear. But Silverlight is at the beginning of a long slog towards gaining traction. Computerworld did a quick analysis of job listings at nine popular career sites and found that an average of 41 times more ads mentioned Adobe's Flash than mentioned Silverlight. As expected only 6 months after Silverlight's introduction, the number of programming books carried on Amazon.com was also heavily skewed in favor of Flash."

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Why switch? (5, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675488)

Why should I, as a Flash developer / animator, move to a less stable, less well-known, less-compatible platform from one that is stable, has many developers, is cross-platform (mostly), and can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?

Not that I am a Flash developer (at least, I haven't been for a while), it's just a hypothetical.

I think the answer for Microsoft is "because we need you to help us create another hook to keep people on Windows." Linux beta, eh? I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:Why switch? (5, Insightful)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675544)

I think more to the point is that Silverlight has been out less than a year, and yet Computerworld somehow thinks that there's going to be lots of books and job demand for it?? Oh brother.

What's a job posting going to say? Wanted: Experienced Silverlight Developer, must have 3+ yrs experience even though the product itself has been out less than a year.

Re:Why switch? (4, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675566)

Wanted: Experienced Silverlight Developer, must have 3+ yrs experience even though the product itself has been out less than a year.

Common enough on job boards anyway. ;^)

Re:Why switch? (5, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675882)

This Dilbert cartoon [dilbert.com] and this Dilbert cartoon [dilbert.com] are the perfect illustrations for your post. Look at those links in order, one follows the other.

"Candidate must have an IQ of 300, two centuries of Unix experience and a track record of wining Nobel prizes."

Re:Why switch? (0, Offtopic)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676182)

Offtopic, but that got me wondering. Who is more evil. Catbert or Dogbert? I'm going to say Dogbert because he seeks to rule world. Catbert seems far less ambitious in his evil.

Re:Why switch? (0, Troll)

Piata (927858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675592)

Because the internet needs more redundant technology!

Flash is already seeing it's market steadily eroded by the trend toward html/css/javascript development that is much easier and more flexible to build and maintain. Pretty much the only thing Flash is good for these days is games and serving up audio and video.

Re:Why switch? (0, Flamebait)

slugabed (851785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675752)

That's right! Wow people still use Flash? Streaming games and videos on the internet? Who would ever want that!?! Yes, also I prefer my videos and games the old fashion way: slowly downloaded to my PC in very platform specific formats. Those young kids and their crazy Youtube, when will they ever learn that it's all just a fad! ;)

Re:Why switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675828)

Did you even read the post you are replying to?

Re:Why switch? (1)

slugabed (851785) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676462)

Yes I was pointing out the absurdity of saying "Flash use is going down" then saying "It is good for video and games" in a tongue-and-cheek manner. Both of those uses have skyrocketed Flash use. Chill out Mr. Anonymous.

Re:Why switch? (0)

KeyserDK (301544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676122)

I think you mixing formats into the discussion. Flash players still suck. Yes the old embedded media players (realplayer/windows media player/(totem)) sucked even more (since they forced a certain UI). But today they are better at handling streaming than any flash player i've met. They probably rely on the same code from flash itself ;). Flash based video get out of sync, has horrible time-scroll(bar?) handling and sucks even more on anything that isn't windows. Flash is not the future. It's the same as if everybody had to use the same browser.

HTML5 video element is probably our best hope. But i hope firefox developers don't get trapped in "we can handle streaming ourself" and avoid using platform libraries (Gstreamer,Directshow,quicktime). Or maybe gstreamer as an option on all platforms since it's cross platform and can already handle these issues very well ;).

Somebody else mentioned it. html/css/js/js-canvas/svg/html-video-element should be the way forward. Lets hope that combo wins ;).

Re:Why switch? (5, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675770)

Heh. When the number of Linux distributions is critisized, it's good to have competition, because no one distro can fill everyone's needs. Yet when MS puts out a competitor to Java, and now Flash, it's "why do we need more than one?"

Competition is good.

Re:Why switch? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675876)

I will agree as soon as someone finds a way to build both a Flash and Silverlight application from the same source code, makes almost all websites provide both and the users can choose with a browser setting which one to use. Then the issue is at least close to comparable to Linux distros...

Re:Why switch? (3, Informative)

hummassa (157160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676418)

I will agree as soon as someone finds a way to build both a Flash and Silverlight application from the same source code, makes almost all websites provide both and the users can choose with a browser setting which one to use. Then the issue is at least close to comparable to Linux distros...
Plug OpenLaszlo [openlaszlo.org] ...

Re:Why switch? (3, Insightful)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675906)

There is a difference though. The various versions of linux are all going to be roughly compatible. As in you can compile code for anything as long as you have the source and build utilities.

This would be more similar to introducing a new OS, completely incompatible to linux than introducing a new distro.

Re:Why switch? (4, Insightful)

IllForgetMyNickSoonA (748496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675926)

I'm afraid you are comparing apples and oranges here.

Various linux distributions are pretty much application compatible. It's mainly just the packaging and the configuration tools that make two distributions look differently and maybe one or two specific drivers.

Silverlight vs. Flash or .NET vs. Java is something completely different. Those are competing technologies, incompatible with each other, and also not available on the same platforms (Flash & Java pretty much everywhere, .NET and Silverlight only where Microsoft sees fit).

Don't kid yourself - the reasoning behind Silverlight has nothing to do with Microsoft striving to make the Web a better place. It's all about gaining more control of a medium they never had much to say with (apart from the dominance of the IE, which is now being chewed at by Mozilla/Firefox)

Re:Why switch? (3, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676076)

Various linux distributions are pretty much application compatible. It's mainly just the packaging and the configuration tools that make two distributions look differently and maybe one or two specific drivers.

You're glossing over a pretty big detail here. Pretty much compatable != compatiable. How many projects work on RH, only to be discovered that, opps, it doesn't install right or compile properly on Deb? How about a distro that only installs KDE by default, but not Gnome? Are those helpful to the end user? Ya, you can make it work... just like you can port Java to .Net, and visa versa.

Silverlight vs. Flash or .NET vs. Java is something completely different. Those are competing technologies, incompatible with each other, and also not available on the same platforms (Flash & Java pretty much everywhere, .NET and Silverlight only where Microsoft sees fit).

I would say the incompatibilities are the benefit of competition. If both sides are totally compatable, what's the point of choosing one over the other? Ya, you can switch easier, but neither has any really good features that are compelling when choosing one. So Sun and MS think of features to add that the other side doesn't have, thus improving their product. Java (supposedly) works on any major platform; .Net has features like explicit interface definitions, delegates, eventing built in, etc. Java has checked exceptions, cross platform capability, dynamic class loading, etc. Eventually (I hope) each side will incorproate some of their competitors features, thus pushing Sun and MS to think up new features.

Don't kid yourself - the reasoning behind Silverlight has nothing to do with Microsoft striving to make the Web a better place. It's all about gaining more control of a medium they never had much to say with (apart from the dominance of the IE, which is now being chewed at by Mozilla/Firefox)

Well, AMD isn't stiving to make the CPU world a better place, they are trying to beat Intel. AMD would love to get all of Intel's marketshare, I'm sure, and Intel feels the same way. What exactly is wrong with that?

Re:Why switch? (2, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676168)

Well, AMD isn't stiving to make the CPU world a better place, they are trying to beat Intel. AMD would love to get all of Intel's marketshare, I'm sure, and Intel feels the same way. What exactly is wrong with that?
Nothing. But because Microsoft is a monopolist that has in the past abused their monopoly power, I would be wary of new technologies the produce. What if they stop making the player for operating systems other than Windows when Silverlight becomes popular. What if they stop making a player for browsers other than IE? Remember, embrace, extent, extinguish.

Re:Why switch? (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676376)

What if they stop making the player for operating systems other than Windows when Silverlight becomes popular. What if they stop making a player for browsers other than IE?

The market fixes this problem itself very nicely, if not immediately.

If Microsoft does those things, there's suddenly a golden opportunity for another competitor or competitors to get going -- they'll be able to gain mindshare and traction much more easily from nothing, because they'll be providing something Microsoft isn't.

Witness the way that Microsoft won the browser war and stopped work on IE, only to have Firefox emerge and provide strong competition. I know this is slashdot and it's free software uber alles and all, but realistically, if Microsoft had kept working on IE as hard as they were when they were trying to beat Netscape, there either never would have been a Firefox, or basically no one outside of slashdot-like communities would care. They didn't do that, and so a lot of people that in the continually-improving-super-IE alternate world wouldn't even be looking for a Firefox or who wouldn't want to work on improving a Firefox or who wouldn't want to make plug-ins for Firefox were primed for it.

So in short, yes, Microsoft could do what you're saying if Silverlight crushed Flash, but it wouldn't last for long.

Re:Why switch? (2)

blincoln (592401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676230)

Those are competing technologies, incompatible with each other, and also not available on the same platforms (Flash & Java pretty much everywhere, .NET and Silverlight only where Microsoft sees fit).

In all fairness, that is true of nearly all competing products. For example, the PS3 is incompatible with Wii software and hardware. Honda engine components are generally incompatible with Ford engines. A flathead screwdriver is incompatible with Robertson screws. 4000-series CMOS ICs use logic levels that are different than 7400-series TTL ICs. Etc.

Even within the Linux world there are subsets of incompatibilities - GTK+ versus Qt, and so on.

Obviously Microsoft's intent with Silverlight is to try and crush Flash like they crushed Netscape (and like they failed to crush PDF with XPS). But I do agree with the grandparent that competition is good - otherwise the dominant company or companies in a particular market end up becoming complacent, stagnant, and arrogant (e.g. Cisco, Microsoft themselves in many cases, Bell Telephone, etc.).

Re:Why switch? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676470)

When the number of Linux distributions is critisized, it's good to have competition

The reason it's good to have many Linux distributions (IMO) is not really for the competition. It's for the customization. Most Linux distros can do the same things and interoperate with each other, but some are more optimized for some situations and some for others.

No in that vein, if Microsoft was releasing their own Flash development suite that serviced a different group of developers, I think fewer people would be complaining, and more people would see value in it.

Re:Why switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675602)


Why should I, as a Flash developer / animator, move to a less stable, less well-known, less-compatible platform from one that is stable, has many developers, is cross-platform (mostly), and can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?


Good point.

If we could just get all the Flash developers / animators to switch to breathing vacuum. Now THAT would be progress!

Re:Why switch? (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675664)

can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?

Well, if I'm reading right, Silverlight lets you program it in pretty much any .NET language. That's something Flash doesn't do -- yet -- although they are coordinating with Mozilla to develop a common runtime which would make JavaScript fast, and also support other languages.

I would much rather see both of them go away, though. SVG and JavaScript, please.

Re:Why switch? (2)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675742)

Well, last I heard Flash can't do HD streaming. From my point of view, why would I use Silverlight 2.0? Because I'll be able to build a SL application exactly as I already build Windows or Asp.Net applications. Same tools, same languages and most of the same library (SL will use a subset).

Also, SL is supposed to be cross platform. We'll have to see, but SL 2 is supposed to be a huge step forward.

Personally, from what I know of Flash is that it's a scripted OO hacked together language. No thanks. That's why i'm not even bothering with SL 1, because it requires using Javascript, also a bad hack of a scripted OO language. Bleck.

Re:Why switch? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675768)

Why should I, as a Flash developer / animator, move to a less stable, less well-known, less-compatible platform from one that is stable, has many developers, is cross-platform (mostly), and can do, if I'm reading right, everything the other claims to be able to do already?
Wait, I thought flash already worked with acrobat!?

Seriously, maybe because it's an Adobe product now, that alone should make you run screaming into the night. Acrobat reader is an excellent example of a long time Adobe project. Now, as the Macromedia developers move to greener pastures, they will be replaced with Adobe's team and quality standards.

(Microsoft should have just bought FutureWave when they had the chance.)

Re:Why switch? (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675824)

This is going to show my age, but I recall the same argument for MS Visual C/C++ versus Borland. I was one of the Borland people... if youll excuse me I have to get back to Visual Studio 2008 :)

Re:Why switch? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675956)

A different compiler for the same language is one thing. Silverlight is like a completely new language. This is like Microsoft introducing C# when we already have C++ and Java.

Re:Why switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676248)

A completely new language in the sense that it's the exact same language, and largely the same libraries as .net developers have been using for years? Sounds like another "Vista is the new ME" post to me...

Re:Why switch? (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676528)

This is like Microsoft introducing C# when we already have C++ and Java.

And yet, despite having years of experience with all three of those languages, I prefer to work in C# when possible. I also believe that competition from C# is pushing Java to become better now in a way that it wasn't when it had no real competition for the kinds of applications for which Java is a good choice.

Probably in 5 years Java will have improved to the point that it's my choice for most business applications again. In a world without C# it'd still be the choice by default, but it'd be a lot crappier of a language to work with.

Re:Why switch? (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676362)

I'm involved in e-marketing campaigns and public web sites and rarely for intranet project.

first: I'm not a mac fanboy nevertheless I can't see myself selling a web site totally incompatible with Mac....What can justify that you may lose +/- 5% of your audience (and potential sells) because of this technical choice? On the marketing/communication side there is no justification.

Another example: I work for communication agencies as a technical subcontractor...They almost all have Macs instead of windows. So practically...If I send them a link to check the web site under construction....How could they approve it?

If Microsoft shows support for the mono port...And If downloading silverlight is as simple as flash (on Mac and why not on Linux); if the support looks like a long term strategy: Then silverlight looks quite promising (technically speaking) in two years or so. If they don't, I won't "learn/sell" it. It will be useless for my job.

I also think that a succesful silverlight may help Adobe/Macromedia to get more decent prices for their products (some prices are simply insane), I'm more than open to help a true free market.

Re:Why switch? (1)

PeterP (149736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675870)

The Linux Beta can be downloaded here:

http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight/ [go-mono.com]

Microsoft has not released the media codecs yet (In the pipeline as we speak), but otherwise you should be able to look at any Silverlight site you want.

Re:Why switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676476)

Microsoft has not released the media codecs yet (In the pipeline as we speak), but otherwise you should be able to look at any Silverlight site you want.

So.... What am I expected to see when viewing a Silverlight page without media codecs? I was under the assumption that A/V handling was Silverlight's big advantage over html/css. If there's no media requiring these codecs on the page, why use Silverlight in the first place?

Re:Why switch? Because Flash drops the ball? (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675904)

I'm not preaching that Silverlight holds the answers, or anything remotely like that. But in MANY people's opinions, Flash technology has really "dropped the ball" when it comes to keeping up with the times.

When I first remembered it gaining in popularity, people were simply fascinated by the new-found ability to make web sites look more sophisticated and polished. You could do photo-realistic animations with your menus, have 3D fonts moving about the screen without having to render them ahead of time, trying to scale/size them for the page you were going to paste them in, etc.

In the present, most people take a "been there, seen that" attitude towards Flash-heavy web pages. They look for the "skip" button as soon as one opens up, because they know the real "content" isn't going to be found in waiting for the bar graph to finish loading to 100% completion, only to hear some techno music playing behind a big video with the corporate logo spinning around. The places where I see Flash used today tend to be interactive games, such as the children's games developed for sites like pbskids.org or nickjr.com.

In this arena, Flash may still be "king" - but it sure isn't giving a stable experience! I have a 5 year old, so I know! She loves playing the mini-games on these web sites, but I'm constantly hearing, "Dad!! Help! It stopped working!", only to go over to the PC and find it frozen up, or the arrow keys unresponsive in the game. Usually, I have to refresh the whole thing, losing her position in the game. Sometimes, the whole browser has to be closed and restarted.

It's even worse if you're not using the "preferred platform" of a Windows box running Internet Explorer 7.

Adobe long ago dropped support for their Flash player for classic MacOS, for example. Sure, it's an "outdated" platform, but an awful lot of old iMac G3's and G4's are still out there being used as "kid's computers", so this is a place where a current Flash player would still get a lot of use! They still have no Flash player developed for Apple's iPhone either, and that's an example of a NEW device they should have been on top of from the start.

They're certainly making a great case for themselves that somebody ELSE needs to come along with a competing product!

Re:Why switch? Because Flash drops the ball? (1)

tupletuple (1015599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676058)

Why anyone would expect silverlight to work well with anything but the "preferred platform" of a Windows box running Internet Explorer is beyond me. No, not in the first 2-3 years, but when there is any kind of market saturation. How long before any support for Mac or linux is limited (or any FF plugins for it, for that matter), if not dropped. Granted, I haven't found the fabled linux support at all, but even if it comes, Microsoft has an interest in making it less functional/stable/usable for any non MS platforms, the same would be true of any mac version. Even a community driven version will be broken because MS won't really tell of all the changes to their "new" update/upgrade. You can argue, but MS has already shown a propensity for this behavior in the past. Many, many times.

Re:Why switch? Because Flash drops the ball? (1)

korbin_dallas (783372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676560)

Yup. Reminds me of the early web pag days remember, when a 'site' had a 'Entry tunnel' and a 'Exit tunnel'.
And everyone just bookmarked the important 'site' page that had the relavent info?

Same thing, except these days when a site informs me "Flash is Required to View this Site"
I backspace to Google and find a 'Less Stupid' company.

Oh look, theres another BRILLIANT idea for Google....they could mark site 'Flash Only' in the summary, then I could avoid them all together.

Re:Why switch? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675908)

More to the point, why should anyone who has a website develop content for Silverlight instead of Flash? Flash is already well deployed, and Adobe has an interest in maintaining Flash players for multiple operating systems. Silverlight is not only barely deployed, but would seem that Microsoft would have an interest in developing players that run only on Windows, and perhaps only on Internet Explorer, once Silverlight becomes popular.

Re:Why switch? (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675938)

Because Flash can't do 3D.

At least, can't do sufficiently advanced 3D with sufficient performance.

Is it worth it? I don't know, really. But it's easy to miss the point when a technology turns from 'mature' to 'obsolete' and from 'experimental' to 'cutting edge'.

COBOL programmers kept smirking at JAVA developers too.

Re:Why switch? (1)

phase_9 (909592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676000)

PaperVision 3D [papervision3d.org] and Away3D [away3d.com] spring to mind.

Re:Why switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676356)

Why do you want to deliver advanced 3D over the web, and not just in a client-sed application?

Re:Why switch? (4, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676100)

Why?

1) Performance features - for example an application in silverlight that pulls HD image formats in small chunks, allowing you to zoom into 100mb images instantly. (This is just one example)

2) HD Video - that is VC1 compliant as well. Also the ability to support live and multi-cast streaming of HD Video (great for lowbandwidth servers hosting live events, and still providing an HD video of the event.)

3) Easier - By the nature of how Silverlight is designed it is easier to design for and work with. You are basically just managaging Vista type XAML from WPF. No secret formats, etc.

4) Agnostic programming - Silverlight you not only get a rich vector/bitmap based environment, but it is completely language agnostic and you can use anything from C# to VB to Python.

5) Web Page interoperability - Silverlight is designed to within the context of the Web Page. For example you could hvae 10 Silverlight buttons on the page, and they are all separate from each otehr, but tied together via common code in JScript. This would be 'heavy' to do in Flash, and it wouldn't be easy to split the buttons apart, so you would ahve to design all the buttons in one Flash control, consuming the page with Plash, instead of just working with the page. Think of Silverlight as a cool new picture type that is also programmable, handles events, and animation when used like this.

6) Features - Silverlight 1.0 is on par with Flash in terms of features, and has several Flash just cannot do. Silverlight 2.0 brings in a whole set of .NET controls, etc that surpass anything Flash can do.

7) Back to Performance - Flash is a dog on non-Windows OSes. So far Silverlight is showing to be semi-equally fast on Windows and OS X, with low memory consumption on both. The same Flash applet running on Windows could use a couple of MB and running on OS X jump to 30MB and peg the CPU. Flash is NOT as crossplatform as developers would like to lead people to believe because of performance issues like this.

8) Security - Silverlight is more secure than Flash (see recent Flash updates), the reason Silverlight is more secure because it runs inside an additional sandbox and is also managed code, it is .NET based.

9) Structure XAML - The nature of how Silverlight is designed is based on Vista's WPF/XAML system. Vista uses XAML from everything from on screen display to printing (XAML is like OS X's Display PDF but with a chunk more features.) This means that Windows developers can easily move from Windows programming .NET 3.0 to Silverlight or the other way around. The XAML construct is also very intelligently designed, as it is more than just a graphical description format, as it has inherent events and animations, where Display PDF (or SVG as some like to compare) is inherently a static graphical format with no concept of advanced layers, animations, hit testing, events, etc. (As printing technology moves to eInk that is dynamic, XAML is ready to print to and produce output on these devices already, even though this is a years off concept.)

Microsoft is also working to get the Linux version of Silverlight going by working with the Mono peeps, and Microsoft is also fully producing the OS X version as well as supporting as many browsers as they can at the same time, including Firefox, etc. So if this was MS trying to lock people in, it would be Windows and IE only, instead it has potential to be far more crossplatform than Flash. (Microsoft also just announced Silverlight for non Windows Mobile phones to be an alternative to Flash Lite.)

Re:Why switch? (2, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676344)

So if this was MS trying to lock people in, it would be Windows and IE only, instead it has potential to be far more crossplatform than Flash.
If I were trying to lock people in, I would develop the technology for all popular platforms at first. After it became very popular, I would slowly drop support for platforms other than my own, first Linux, then Mac, then non-IE browsers.

Re:Why switch? (1)

ImTheDarkcyde (759406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676536)

"7) Back to Performance - Flash is a dog on non-Windows OSes. "

It's a dog on windows os's too, xp or vista. Why is it my computer should have trouble with its core duo, when all it is doing is playing some derivitive tower defense game with a lot of particles. Flash makes the SNES look like a powerhouse.

Becasue Actionscript Sucks Balls? (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676224)

Seriously.

Re:Why switch? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676428)

*sigh* Silverlight IS cross platform. It works in Opera, FireFox, IE on PC and Mac (don't know about Linux). As to the "why" of switching - the next version of Silverlight is going to contain the .NET CLR which will make running client-side code in it quite fast. You'll also have access to a good portion of the .NET framework. So, if you're already a .NET coder and you don't want to learn ActionScript, I'd say it's a decent alternative.

This is a ridiculous article anyway - what're they expecting, dot-com-boom ads? Where'd you see "Must have 5 years HTML 4.0 experience" 1 year after it came out? And books? Of course their are more Flash books. Don't be ridiculous. Flash has been around for years and Silverlight just came out. That's like being shocked that there are more games available for PS2 than PS3 - duh.

This is a surprise?? (5, Insightful)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675500)

NewsFlash!! Brand new technology has less presence in market compared to entrenched, established technology!

Holy Cow! Stop the presses! This is big news!

Freakin' Troll of a story if I've ever seen one.

Re:This is a surprise?? (1)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675538)

Seriously, this story exists to point out the obvious: There is currently more Flash than Silverlight. ZOMG the shock!

Now lets all take this opportunity to knock our least favorite monopolist, Microsoft, and espouse our loyalty to our favorite monopolist, Adobe.

Re:This is a surprise?? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675594)

Is Adobe a monopoly? Don't think so.

And anyway, what is the problem with them. They produced some hugely successful technology, we use it all the time, willingly.

Oh wait, their PROPRIETARY!!!!!11111one

Yeah, because no proprietary company ever produced anything worth using....

[koff] Blizzard] [/koff]

kdawson (0, Offtopic)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675894)

kdawson. What a surprise!

Re:This is a surprise?? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676044)

It isn't needed, AFAICT it offers nothing whatever that older stabler products (Flash) have.

The big news is that they ever sold (or even gave away) a single copy. Nobody but Microsoft would be able to.

Incorrect headline (2, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675512)

Here, let me fix that for you

Little Demand Yet For Silverlight

There! that's better.

Re:Incorrect headline (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675542)

Just for kicks, I'll spin it the other way:

Demand For Silverlight On The Rise

Re:Incorrect headline (4, Funny)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675636)

I can spin too:

Supply Outstrips Demand for Silverlight
Undownloaded Installers Prove Problematic for Redmond Giant

Re:Incorrect headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675630)

MOST ANNOYING MEME EVER. stop it. please. it was funny that first time only.
smugness, arrogance and disingenuousness all in one. gah!

if these downloaders are anything like me (3, Informative)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675534)

Like me, many of these 1.5 million are people who where breifly confused into thinking they needed silverlight in order to access the microsoft site. I took advantage of their dreamspark initiative, and encountered a 'you need to install silverlight' message. Turns out this was for a small silverlight animation, nothing to do with the main content.

Since then I've not been back. Nor would I intentionally seek to develop for that platform. Why bother? There's javascript and flash already.

Re:if these downloaders are anything like me (2, Informative)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675572)

How many hundreds of millions of sites do the same thing with Flash? Install Flash to power this ugly animated page header! Neat.

Re:if these downloaders are anything like me (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675616)

How many hundreds of millions of sites do the same thing with Flash?
Not many. Unless you think that users are upset by being able to watch Youtube.

Of course, not many users install Flash anyway. It ships pre-installed on most computers these days.

Re:if these downloaders are anything like me (1)

vtscott (1089271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675624)

I downloaded it for the free t-shirt. [slashdot.org]

Re:if these downloaders are anything like me (2, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675860)

Why bother? There's javascript and flash already.

Yeah but those technologies don't help Microsoft improve their position in the market place.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of Microsoft !

Because it's beta (1)

parvenu74 (310712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675536)

Of course there isn't much demand yet: it's still a beta technology! Moreover, the technical evangelists don't seem to be in agreement if Silverlight is toolkit for building media applications to compete with Flash/YouTube or if this is a toolset for building line-of-business applications (ala Java Applets, only without the hideous UI and slow performance). I personally believe that Silverlight will only be a big thing if it is positioned as something for building line-of-business apps and marketed as the perfect hybrid between the power of a desktop app with the convenience of install/update of a web app.

Job Sites (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675540)

I think they are generally looking in the wrong places. I never really found CareerBuilder or Monster to be all that useful when job hunting.

Re:Job Sites (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675570)

Maybe you don't, but I got most of my job offers on my last job search through Monster. I had my resume up for a day and a half, after which I had to take it down because I was getting too many calls!

The scary part is that I still get calls and emails from recruiters, even though I've happily settled into a job and haven't been on the market in half a year.

Re:Job Sites (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675654)

Yeah - I get a ton of calls, but the jobs are generally pretty undesirable.

Poster is Astroturfing? (4, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675546)

Check out ericatcw's previous Slashdot stories [roomformilk.com] :

"Google Apps Slow to Replace Competition"
"Firefox Struggling to Compete as Corporate Browser"

Hell of a coincidence that they're all pro-Microsoft.

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (1, Informative)

Westley (99238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675680)

Um, in what way is *this* post pro-Microsoft? You can't very well argue that "Microsoft technology hasn't yet taken off" and "Non-Microsoft technology hasn't yet taken off" are *both* anti-MS subject-matters.

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675772)

In that nobody gives a shit about Silverlight except Microsoft and this is bringing attention to it.

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (1)

Westley (99238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675982)

And is the same true of Google apps and Firefox then, in your view? After all, the previous posts were drawing attention to those, weren't they?

You gave examples of three posts (including this one) which are similar in flavour ("technology X hasn't taken off yet"), and tried to use that as evidence that the poster is pro-Microsoft. Your logic is blatantly inconsistent.

(Oh, and just because you may not care about Silverlight doesn't mean no-one else does. I'm watching it with interest, but without any commitment yet. We'll see what happens...)

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676046)

*yet* being the key word here. never mind that silverlight has nothing worth noting that flash doesn't, or that it is not cross-platform, MS doesn't need any of that, just for marketing to say how fantastic and "innovative" it is. either that or find a way to make it appear critical [like others have noted about microsoft.com]

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (1)

Westley (99238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676094)

From my personal point of view, Silverlight 2.0 *will* have something that Flash certainly doesn't - the ability to develop for it in C# 3, including LINQ etc. Likewise it will give me the ability to use familiar WPF techniques for developing a UI. I'd rather not learn Flash unless I really have to - but being able to deploy reasonably rich client-side apps via the web (not just using ClickOnce) is attractive.

Of course, most of that appeal is irrelevant to someone who doesn't already know a .NET language - but there are quite a few people who do.

Re:Poster is Astroturfing? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675986)

Maybe, but maybe not. If you look at my submissions that were accepted last year [slashdot.org] you might think I worked for New Scientist, since more than half of those submissions link to it. But I don't work for them; I only surf their site often.

Perhaps the submitter genuinely likes Microsoft? I don't know why anyone would but that's just me.

-mcgrew

PS: haven't got a single story posted yet this year =(

In other news.. (3, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675568)

..there seems to be little demand for the programming language I invented the other day while I had the flu, and a frightening lack of instructional books on Amazon for it. That's a real shame, because after some chicken soup and a good night's sleep I no longer remember how the goddamned thing works, and was really looking forward to cookbooking it.

Re:In other news.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22675750)

..there seems to be little demand for the programming language I invented the other day while I had the flu, and a frightening lack of instructional books on Amazon for it. That's a real shame, because after some chicken soup and a good night's sleep I no longer remember how the goddamned thing works, and was really looking forward to cookbooking it.

Sounds like ideal material for an Ecma fast-track standard.

MS moving too quickly (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675578)

It also doesn't help that Silverlight is BARELY just making it onto peoples machines and they are already releasing betas of Silverlight 2.0 [microsoft.com]

You can't expect people to jump onboard if your product is a moving target. No one wants to be left in the dust.

Re:MS moving too quickly (1)

kurokaze (221063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675658)

Good point! You gotta give book authors more time to play with your tech to be able to write some good material on it. That process could take months. Moving forward with another release is sure to displease these people.

Re:MS moving too quickly (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676252)

I would agree, but having used the initial version, and the beta of version 2, it is well worth it to make the jump. Silverlight 1 to me really feels like a proto-type. Nothing about it struck me as a 'flash killer' system, heck, it barely even registered as a 'flash competitor'. But 2.0... There were huge improvements, all managed code under the pretty graphics, a good deal of the .Net 3.0 framework is exposed, the tools, VS.Net 2008 and Blend are much improved. Now it is starting to look like a really nice product. I haven't check out the initial release of 2.0 (just came out earlier this week), but one of my co-workers is already playing with it, and I've been working with the beta for a few months now.

It may be MS, but I like seeing some competition for Flash. Especially if that competition leads to improvements being made in both solutions.

-Rick

Re:MS moving too quickly (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676340)

Silverlight 1.0 is flash competition hurried to production. It has it's advantages and disadvantages but few things really worth noting.
The 2.0 release changes lots. Real integration with the .NET languages, LINQ, ... It's where flash gets kicked into the lower back several times before being handed it's testicles on a silver(light) platter. If you're going to dislike the release schedule, hate 1.0, not the good stuff.

1.5 million times every day ? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675650)

How is that even possible? Only geeks, I would think, know about it. Not everyone who knows about it wants it. And Not everybody who wants it has Windows to even be able to run it. How can that subset maintain 1.5 x 10^6 a day??

Re:1.5 million times every day ? (1)

NathanWoodruff (966362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675696)

IE crashes in the process of downloading it forcing you to attempt to download it several times before you actually get to install it.

Most people give up on the 100th attempt to download it. Therefore 1.5 million downloads, very little usage.

Nathan

Re:1.5 million times every day ? (3, Informative)

apdyck (1010443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676038)

The answer to this question is simple. I did a fresh install of Windows XP last night (for a client), and my third round of Windows Updates (after the Windows Installer and the bulk of the updates, including IE7), one of the updates was for Silverlight. To be fair, it was considered an optional update, but the average computer user sees update and thinks "I need that for increased security" or some such. Long and short, it's on Windows Update, and that's why they're getting so many downloads.

As bad as flash (1)

dbuttric (9027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675670)

Silverlight and flash are two evil things on the web.
Time after time, I download the software, and run the installer, only to have NOTHING HAPPEN.

Either that, or the plugin does not install into all my browsers, just the dominant one for that OS - it installs into IE, and Safari, but not Firefox on either platform.

What good is this type of thing anyway? Sure it provides a framework for fewer roundtrips to the server, but if it doesn't work, you're right back where you started.

Frustrating.

Waiting for 2.0 (4, Interesting)

Westley (99238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675700)

I suspect many developers have been waiting for 2.0 as the "real" Silverlight. It feels to me like 1.0 was mostly a stake in the ground to make it clear that MS is trying for the same market as Flex etc - but it wasn't enough to build proper applications.

2.0 should (if it lives up to hype/expectations) be much more useful.

Given that beta 1 has only just been released, it's not at all surprising that there isn't a lot of demand for developers in the marketplace yet, nor books available.

Re:Waiting for 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676348)

Typical MS tactics. "You better jump on our product now. When we release our next version, we'll be so much better than our competitor's current version. Hurry! If you don't get experience with what we have now, your competition will leave you in the dust, when they're using our next version." Of course, the implication is that the other product isn't going to release a new and improved version and to please ignore the superiority of the other product in the versions that actually exist.

Re:Waiting for 2.0 (1)

JcMorin (930466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676354)

I agree, as a developer in the .NET platform since it release, the silverlight doesn't seems reader. Most tool and application are still beta or alpha. It's sort of Visual beta studio out of a alpha editor with version that still change.

I'm not the type of guy who is afraid to write part of my html code by hand, but XAML code by hand is not my first choice to start...

Here is my tips for Microsoft to get more dev:

- Give us a final build of Silverlight (currently: Silverlight 2 Beta 1!!!)
- Give us a final build of Visual Studio 2008 (still CTP)
- Give us a final build of XAML (Expression Blend beta and Expression Blend 2.5 preview doesn't fit as final for me)

Stupid choice of metrics. (3, Insightful)

cow ninja (306125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675712)

Stupid choice of metrics. There are more Windows 3.11 books at my local library than there are Vista books. So there must be more demand for Windows 3.11.

How many books were on the shelf six months after Flash was released? How about job postings? Compare those numbers with Silverlight if you must use a stupid metric like this.

Troll article.

Re:Stupid choice of metrics. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676022)

So there must be more demand for Windows 3.11.
It wouldn't surprise me all that much.

Cross-platform, or not? (3, Informative)

dalleboy (539331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675796)

I'm still a bit concerned about the supposed cross-platform-ness. Is the Javascript file Silverlight.js still used to initialize the Silverlight object in Silverlight 2? If that is the case it will never be truly cross-platform.

If you aren't running one of the platforms supported by Microsoft (Windows (IE, Firefox) and Mac OS X (Firefox, Safari)) you will get redirected to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=92800 [microsoft.com] (or similar), regardless if you have a Silverlight compatible plugin installed. Using the Silverlight.js file is the defacto standard way of initializing Silverlight, at least in previous releases.

It will be the responsibility to each web-developer to update their copy of Silverlight.js in order to get Silverlight to run on other platforms than the ones directly supported by Microsoft. This will never happen, except perhaps for a small portion that are Moonlight enthusiasts.

Millions? (3, Informative)

The Aethereal (1160051) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675806)

Of those millions, how many are like me and have downloaded and installed Silverlight, but can not make it work? When I browse to a Silverlight page, it just says that I need to install Silverlight. So I uninstall it, redownload, and reinstall. Nothing changed. I believe this is in IE and Firefox.

.net (1, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675856)

However, sadly, there are lots .net jobs.
Microsoft's clone of Java.
So maybe in a couple years there will be demand for Microsoft's clone of Flash.

Re:.net (3, Insightful)

Micar (1236696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676206)

Why is this sad? The .NET platform has its quirks, but Microsoft did a lot right. As a new developer, I found it extremely easy to learn because of its uniform implementation, extensive documentation, and large community. No, it's not the only platform that has this, but it certainly helps. Now I can market those skills to a large base of employers and be confident that I can adapt to related technologies (WF, WPF, Silverlight) with ease. Again, why is this sad?

Re:.net (1)

roaddemon (666475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676564)

It's sad that gp was modded as insightful for such a petty dig. DotNet is one of the best platforms available, is a massive improvement over vb6/com, has a very good support network and good to great tools available. Yet calling it sad is insightful. Soviet Russia Overlord supports Beowulf cluster window$ sucks mindless groupthink.

Silver WHAT? (0, Troll)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22675964)

Ya I had to look it up.

Oh, that's not the web.
Microsoft is not the web.
Why would I down load Silverlight to see some MS page.
Anyway, I am Betting it will not work on my KDE desktop.
M$ tends to expect you to run there OS...
So its not the interoperable thus is not the web.

MS get a life.

Re:Silver WHAT? (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676118)

Actually, there's a Linux version of Silverlight.....it was linked in a post higher up, so I won't re-link here.

Layne

Re:Silver WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676190)

Ya I had to look it up .... I am Betting it will not work on my KDE desktop.

A word to the wise: when you don't know anything about what you're talking about, it's time to stop talking.

SD West (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676014)

Here at SD West this week there have been a handful of talks about Silverlight, but nothing about Flash. I guess that's because Silverlight is new and everyone already knows how to do Flash.

file under 'the sun also rises' (1)

jscob (1145305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676036)

what else would you expect 6 mos after release?

next you'll be telling me that almost 3 mos after winter solstice the days are still getting longer but still not as long as they will be when summer solstice occurs...

why does this crap make it on slashdot? Ericatw should be banned from submitting posts after yet another crappost.

Ballmer is such a dick - and will destroy MS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676062)

Ballmer is such a malignant dick - spreading FUD about the iPhone app store - in the end, it will be Bill Gates' wholly unethical approach to business that gave MS a ghastly reputation (and some third-rate products) - but it will be Steve Ballmer's small-dick/loud-mouth ravings that will finally bury the company. What a waste.

i've seen silverlight implemented nicely already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676090)

on mlb.com, major league baseball's official site. they run a service where you can get games through their site for a season pass price. you can get video tv feeds or radio audio feeds.

this year, though, in the past few weeks, they switched their media player from a basic WMP pop-out window to a new-fangled Silverlight media player. when i was first prompted to download SL to use it, i was kinda pissed, but after using the new player for a day i was impressed. it loads very quickly, the video resizes easily, and all the scoreboard and stat readouts are welcome additions.

now i'm not a flash or SL developer or anything, but frankly i've never seen a flash-based media player that looks as nice or loads as fast as this one does. i'm not sure what SL is doing here that's better than flash, if anything, but it's still quite nice and looks like it took a lot of hard work to build.

if any slashdotters decide to go check it out, i'd be interested to read a more technical-minded opinion of that SL media player.

Is this really surprising? (1)

awjr (1248008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676174)

A technology that requires you to be running Windows (there is a nod towards delivering a Linux runtime at some point) and inside a browser.

In comparison, you have a Adobe's Flash runtime which pretty much permeates the browser 'sphere', the release of AIR which completely discards the browser (which is a hugely significant for business), and Flex which can be considered a mature development environment seeing as they've now hit version 3. Adobe have also committed to not use anything other than Flash 9 for the Flex SDK until at least version 4. So we are talking about a 4 year stable build environment and Flash is always built backwards compatible.

I really can't see why a business would choose Silverlight as a delivery technology. There are too many OSs out there to bet everybody I want to deliver my apps to are running Windows.

I will evaluate Silverlight when I can see it as *cross-platform* and not a *cross-browser* solution. Until that day arrives I'll poke it with a stick to see all the sparkly bits, but I'm not investing my time on a single platform technology. I realise the same could be said for AIR, however they already are in Beta for Linux, and I believe they are testing OS X as well. I don't see any of this type of effort coming out of Microsoft.

Now if Adobe could commit to releasing AIR for PDAs/Mobiles at some point, then I think we may have complete ownage.

easy formula for domination (2, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676208)

Leverage the monopoly and wait til success arrives.
If it does not happen too quickly, start paying for a quicker uptake.

Success using this simple technique has been quite good for Microsoft. Failures are all but guaranteed when they can't find a way to leverage the marketshare of Windows.

This silverlight software is all about the Windows desktop, is their response to Adobes position such that they are also pre-installed on close to 100% of the computer which are pre-installed with Microsoft Windows. Couple that distribution capability with the Adobe Flash/Flex capabilities to tie into backend services for a very rich client experience and Adobe is as much of a threat to Microsoft as Netscape once was.

BTW, Microsoft is out purchasing uptake for Silverlight at this moment. We've already heard about the US Library of Congress deal and there's a few more I can't recall specifically. Oh and with web pages so often relying on a plugin feature like Flash, I think Microsoft figured out that they no long need to keep proprietary HTML extensions in the browser to lock in developers to Windows, they have the above formula and Silverlight. Another nice lockin technology. IMO.

LoB

Why Silverlight? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22676394)

OK I confess I don't really pay attention to Flash and I thought that Silverlight was a competitor to Flash. But now there seams to be a legion of competing software development platforms that do things I didn't think people did with Flash. So if Flash is for making things like that "Badger, Badger, Badger, Snake!" Animation (the last thing I remember seeing in Flash). Is Silverlight another animation application? And how are all of these things related to Adobe's Flex and Air?

Thanks slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22676558)

Now I get to hear that dev on the Silverlight team bitch loudly about this all morning long...
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