Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Microsoft's SilverLight ported to Linux by Novell

While I was exploring Visual Studio 2008, for a IDE comparison, I came across a highly publicized technology called SilverLight. Microsoft's competitor product to Adobe Flash, but Microsoft is trying to advertise more about its video streaming features. Thus, its more like a competitor to flv (Flash videos) which are very popular these days, thanks to YouTube.

SilverLight seems to be a promising technology, but does it have enough to beat Flash? Actually, Visual Studio 2008 is more of a programming tool, whereas Flash CS3 has programming, but design ease is its USP and based on the beta2 for Visual Studio 2008, it can't compete with Flash CS3. But for video streaming you don't need design, you require better video quality, with smaller file size. When Microsoft Expression Encoder is released at end of the year, or early next year, we'll find out if it gives flv videos a run for their money or not.

Coming back to another advantage of Flash is that it's installed on 90% of computers. So if you make something in flash, you can expect most people to be able to view it. Since, SilverLight is a Microsoft technology and we all know the dogfight between Ballmer's bunch and Linux geeks, so how will Microsoft make a linux runtime for SilverLight??? Simple, they call their best friend from the Linux world, Novell to help them out. And Novell being Novell (they want interoperability in everything), helped them out. From what I hear, SilverLight will be called MoonLight in Linux, and Novell+Microsoft gonna release it with Expression Encoder. So my guess is that quite a lot of work on the linux front has been done by Novell, and lets see when it finishes!!

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