Adobe Flash 10 vs. Microsoft Silverlight 2

Big week for Rich Internet Applications with two big releases: Microsoft Silverlight 2 and Adobe Flash 10. Both bring in new sets of capabilities that make the Internet a better place. So anything changes with this new release? should you look into using them, adopting, which one is better? Many questions, but the answer as always is ‘it depends’. I will list all features introduced by the new versions, but an important factor as it has always been, is adoption rate or market penetration. Adobe Flash Player 9 is installed on 97.7% of all computers, and Microsoft has not yet released their percentage…. They claim that Silverlight gets 1.5MM downloads per day (def inflated), but my guess is that they don’t have over 25% penetration with Silverlight 1.0. Adobe has demonstrated their growth rate and can guaranty that Flash 10 will be at 90% penetration within a year, my best guess is that Silverlight 2 won’t even have 15%…. so choose your product wisely, Adobe may have some better features, Microsoft may have others… but if you need anyone to actually see your site, use Flash. If you ever doubt this, remember what happened with the Olympics .

Silverlight 2.0 features

  • .NET Framework support with a large number of libraries
  • all the languages used by Visual Studio in the environment .NET (possibility of using C#, Visual Basic.NET, IronPython…)
  • graphic personalization tools added
  • a new Deep Zoom technology added
  • improved Server Scalability and Expanded Advertiser Support
  • added a DRM system based on technology PlayReady of Microsoft
  • (for more, go here and here )

Flash 10 features

-  added 3D effect in order to transform and animate any display object through 3D space while retaining full interactivity.

  • advanced text support: take advantage of a new, flexible text layout engine that brings print-quality publishing to the web…
  • possibility to create custom filters and effects
  • support the API Video4Linux 2
  • added Speex Audio Codec
  • more