Category Archives: Microsoft

A couple weeks back I spoke about Adobe’s possible development on a new Flash platform for the iPhone.

This week the Guardian has an interview with Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO, offering some comments on Apple’s position:

“Everything that goes onto the iPhone when it’s shipped needs their cooperation. What we really want is Flash built as a plug-in to Safari on the iPhone. But it’s working; I’ve seen demos of it.”

Hopefully then there’s more promise in the idea rather than just being the product of the rumour mill that it almost looked like before.

As the article says, it would be a significant turnaround for Apple. If the device supports the Flash plug-in, it could potentially offer a future implementation where iPhone applications can be developed in Flash. I know it’s an intimidating task for web developers to look at programming Cocoa and Objective-C.

His comments aren’t the main focus of the interview though, Narayen instead airs his views that Microsoft are muscling in on Adobe’s online video market, accusing them of ‘opening their checkbook’ in a failed attempt to convert companies from Flash to their new Silverlight player.

I’ve not developed with Silverlight, or really have any pressing desire to – and the most recent Flash vs. Silverlight stats probably point to not having to for the majority of clients any time soon, either. The latest statistics post Flash video at an 86% market share against Silverlight at 13% (though US based).

It’s no coincidence that Microsoft released Silverlight 2 so close to the Flash Player 10 launch last month. But can it compare? Some people love it, others are undecided - but if anything, Silverlight need to stop losing big companies. BBC have changed to Flash, NBC quite notably for their NFL coverage too.

Then last week, the New York Times reported:

A Microsoft official cited on Tuesday improvements planned for the company’s Silverlight platform for rich Internet applications, including intentions to run Silverlight applications outside of a browser.

If Microsoft want to get competitive with Adobe, they need to do this – assuming of course they maintain cross-platform support. Then they really can go head-to-head.

They bring with them a mass of .NET and WPF developers. Breaking out the browser, with these, could potentially shadow Adobe AIR in the desktop RIA market – which is still relatively basic in it’s file system and native platform/OS integration.

Sometimes it might seem like it was planned.