Microsoft Silverlight

Sorry readers. This is a quick response to a friend at Microsoft's email asking me what I thought of the Microsoft Silverlight platform. I'll write a better opinion when time permits after doing more research:

Silverlight looks pretty cool, is it really Microsoft recognizing that Adobe is a competitor and going after them? Or is this their platform entry into the video content distribution market? Its about time regardless! Gotta love the two step behind strategy (NOTE is it two step behind or did MS really think IT was still paving the internet freeway)!

I didn't see anywhere if the server platform had to run on Windows but that could be a problem if they had to convince big companies to use it (they will have to pay off Google/YouTube bigtime to switch the infrastructure to deliver the content - or more likely I guess just compete). Also, it seems like you'd need a ton of licensing to start a business with it. So I don't know who their target development market really is (we need more proof that this isn't just another Microsoftie).

I think it will be tough for it to take off via grassroots as the Adobe product is dug in / open and the market is pretty mature (is it really the next generation technology or will the next trend come first?). It really depends if Microsoft wants to go xBox on Adobe / Google and suck up losses for half a decade for long term gain. People think that Google is in this position but MS has way more power ($$).

Is it really all about pushing the Microsoft TCP Chimney technology (so we can go Microsoft over Intel 10gb internet and make use of the MS server farms)? Is Microsoft going to push this technology to all vista users so they will automatically have the client plugin? Will they use the ad platform to push to other platforms?

I can see google / adobe teaming up against this technology big time cause they like open source. Further, there are not many big .net sites on the net so its kind of tough to think this technology would scale too well. Typical MS issue stuff.

The big catch for me is when a company announces technology with a set of big media partners, its almost like they built it for themselves, and API'd the software for developers to use for FUN - but if you can prove it works with them then you can get credibility so developers may use it.

Is this just a name change and a couple business deals?

I just got a subscription to Joost and its pretty cool. Gives me 20 good quality digital stations with video on demand. I have a feeling there will be a future market for users to share hd video but think that high quality syndicate video internet lies in owning the network of programming - like YouTube is now, Joost is the evolution of the corporate side of YouTube and it is free.

I guess Microsoft could just make bigger offers to networks / sign bigger deals to get content and force other players out of the high quality part (but mobile may promote the low quality video internet if it gets more trendy - especially with respect to video capture over video preview and that my promote YouTube).

Its pretty cool stuff, but I don't think its a really new technology! Having said this, the one scary thing you can never discount is what Microsoft can do on the backend with some of it's video technology (and xBox stuff). Is it possible that this announcement will be followed by another PhotoSynth announcement? If Microsoft finds a way to make PhotoSynth stream real 3D models of the world this may actually become a development platform we can build avators into (careful Second Life and Google Earth). Also, how does this plug-in relate to Microsoft's mapping platform, will they move maps.live.com to Silverlight's open cross browser platform? Is this the final component we need for xBox to become a real streaming entertainment platform for home users?

I wonder. I wonder a lot about this one.

Over and Out

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