I wouldn’t mind having this little bugger on my desk 04.29.2011 YouTube: Mr. Jones’ Tengu via PSFK Music
I agree with all your comments about Silverlight. There are no good examples, there is nothing Silverlight can do that flash can’t, and there is nothing that Silverlight offers that is innovative.
Why should you care?
There are a few things that Silverlight does better than Flash. Video is one of them (hence seeing all the video based sites and players), and another is division of design from code, but all that is irrelevant when it comes to the argument you’re making. Saying:
“Why should I as a interactive designer use Microsoft Blend over Adobe Flash? (ignore the fact that I’m on OS X)”
is like saying 30 years ago:
“Why should I as a writer use a computer over a typewriter.”
Attitudes like this aren’t going to make the Silverlight player get any better, and certainly will not make better Silverlight examples. Everyone should realize that good design is not the fault of Silverlight, Flash, or any other application…it is the fault of the designer. Silverlight doesn’t care about good design any more than Flash does, and people are more than capable of making horrendous Flash sites as well as Silverlight sites.
Silverlight is in it’s infancy. How many great Flash sites were there when Flash was released? If we want great examples for people to look at we have to create them. Resigning ourselves to embrace a product based on what’s already out there automatically dooms the product to failure. Learning Expression Blend or Expression Design isn’t any more difficult than learning any other piece of software. If Silverlight is going to fail, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t do anything with it.
Preston – understood.
The point is WHY should I want make Silverlight a better product?
You’re implying that Silverlight is more advanced than Flash – although we both agree there are no good examples out there.
There’s no incentive to having to go back and help Microsoft catch up …and eventually surpass Adobe Flash.
It doesn’t make sense.
Here is a link to some of the other applications built in Silverlight.
In the links pay particular attention to Popfly, LiveStation, and also check out MS Live Photosynth (http://labs.live.com/photosynth/videodemo.html)
From my humble perspective, Silverlight will enable Microsoft to be THE platform for the development of enhanced and interactive, high-quality (HD) content. The similarities in specifications to other platforms such as HD DVD (as a disc format as well as a downloadable format) give it incredible power to take advantage of the cross-platform development as well.
Imagine an interactive video player experience that persists across all your Windows devices (XP, Vista, XBOX, MSTV, Zune, MCE, MCE Extenders, Windows Mobile, Windows Embedded), as well as other platforms (Mac, Linux, embedded devices, cable boxes, etc.).
Also, consider that currently broadcast companies spend millions of dollars and hours on their graphics and rendering those graphics for a composited delivery. Imagine that those two things can be programmed, separated, and then rebuilt and reformatted to fit the TV or video player on which they are broadcast.
Do I think that Microsoft has it all figured out? No, but I do believe that they are making the right investments in the technology, as well as embarking on some interesting design and Human Experience initiatives. I hate Blend. It’s clunky, horrible to use, and it’s not cross-platform.
And yes, this is a follow-up technology, but so was Windows, and that is far more prevalent that Flash or Macs. If anything, this will light a fire under Adobe. I do see a lot of potential in this platform. I hope it all comes to fruition, not like our work on Ultimate TV. I think the technology is ripe, users want it, and content creators are ready to invest time and money.
You’re actually missing the biggest factor in all of this and that is the business decisions surrounding Microsoft software. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this but MSFT isn’t necessary the prettiest or most feature rich solution for operating systems or anything they do, but they market their products well by including a few key features all business need and sell them at a price that companies, big and small, can afford. They are quite successful using this model.
That’s exactly what they’ve done with Windows Media Video and Silverlight. It so happens that WMV is much, much cheaper to stream than FLV because of the server prices and bandwidth costs involved. So, even though a Flash 9 app has the potential to be leaps and bounds prettier and features rich than a Silverlight 1 app, that just doesn’t matter to many companies. The cost difference to stream FLV is so great that companies have and will stick to WMV for that sole reason.