Tech Industry

Adobe returns Silverlight's serve

At the end of September it was debatable whether Flash or Silverlight was a better solution -- by the end of the first days in October it is clear that Flash is once again the undisputed champion.
At the end of September it was debatable whether Flash or Silverlight was a better solution -- by the end of the first days in October it is clear that Flash is once again the undisputed champion.

It has been an exciting opening 72 hours of October for the Adobe faithful at the annual MAX conference, where all the big announcements have been made.

One of the technical hills that Silverlight advocates could shout from atop of was high definition video. Adobe has responded to that challenge and we shall have to prepare ourselves for an onslaught of online video clips in HD -- an improved local broadband network cannot come fast enough.

The real stunner and the thing that will see Flash and Flex on an enterprise desktop near you is the new VOIP implementation in Flash called Pacifica. The sheer number of applications that this could be used on, if done properly, is staggering. Imagine if at the end of watching a YouTube clip you were entered into a chat room where you could discuss the video vocally not only textually. Of course whether you want to hear the vocal equivalent of "ZOMG!!! Lolcopter!!" remains to be seen.

Since Pacifica will simply be added into Flash and not released as a separate application, it will be available to all Flash developers and users once it is released -- which is the real key for Flash. With a staggering advantage as the incumbent, many users will be installing the next version of Flash before they ever encounter a need for Silverlight.

In addition to the technical improvements is Adobe's move into Web services. Boasting of a portfolio that now includes Buzzword, Share and Photoshop Express -- this will be the showcase that Adobe uses to show what is possible using its platform.

Four months ago we surveyed the Flash vs Silverlight landscape and while round one may have gone to Silverlight on points, this is now round two with Flash fully awake and throwing punches. It will be interesting to see how Microsoft handles the latest challenges posing it.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

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