Technologically, Microsoft Silverlight is almost on the same level with Adobe Flash, but speaking market, Microsoft Silverlight is still crawling and has a long way to go.
In the past two years, Microsoft has dedicated too much technical resources to enhance Silverlight’s performance. Now, Microsoft Silverlight can compete with Adobe Flash technologically, but still has to speed its pace to follow Adobe Flash when talking about market.
It’s true Microsoft Silverlight already has some big customers like football league, but the giant video websites like Youtube and Hulu are still using Adobe Flash. The worse, some customers, British Television ITV, for example, even abandoned Microsoft Silverlight recently and then turn to Adobe Flash immediately. The worst, even Microsoft’s own network assets such as MSN and Bing seldom use Silverlight or use it conservatively. However, this situation is changing.
Early this week, Microsoft proposed Silverlight will be used in the latest vision search function of Bing, to present searching results in a very unique visual way. The source also said later this year, MSN is expected to be redesigned using maximum Silerlight technology.
According to estimation, Adobe Flash is installed in 90% of Internet PCs, while Microsoft Silverlight only counts 1/3. For Microsoft, the existence of Adobe is just like the existence of Microsoft for other operating system companies and office software companies. Silverlight is not only in relation with how to deliver online videos in PCs but also in relation with the future network planning of Microsoft Office software, etc. What for sure is the web designers need better software to make their interfaces rich and pretty, no matter that is Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flash.
Both Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are required to be installed before watching videos online. And the current situation is most video websites use Adobe Flash due to its popularity and accordingly, most users choose Adobe Flash. This cause-and-effect relation is the key for Microsoft to increase the share of Silverlight.
Adrian Ludwig, the Group Manager of Adobe Flash said: “A few years ago, Adobe was very very nervous when gigantic Microsoft entering this field with Silverlight.”
But recently, Adobe Flash has relaxed vigilance by saying : “I begin to doubt whether Microsoft Silverlight will be as popular as Adobe Flash and whether it will satisfy the demand of the market as Adobe Flash does.”
Executives of Microsoft immediately respond: “The Silverlight customers are rising, especially after the release of the 3rd version. This version supports auto-negotiable adjust the video resolution and uninterrupted video playback according to network status.”