SILVERBLIGHT – THE WOULD-BE PANDEMIC, IF ANYONE HAD IT
Theres a few pieces of Microsoft news here. Firstly its been reported over the last few days that Microsoft is releasing Silverlight for Moblin. No, not some .net chasing version like Moonlight, but the real thing. Theres a link to the article here.
There’s been plenty of news recently about the dumping of Silverlight. Most notably for me was when ITV switched to flash, which I documented here.
It is my opinion that Microsoft has finally learned that people are not blindly following it anymore. People can and will look at alternatives to “Microsoft’s way” and in my opinion Microsoft is now desperate to get its Silverlight platform accepted. To remind ourselves of how Silverlight is being received look no further:
“Microsoft has lost customers when Silverlight didn’t live up to its expectations, even after Silverlight 2 was released. MLB.com, which switched from Flash to Silverlight to stream live baseball games beginning in August 2007 with Silverlight 1.0, said in November—a month after 2’s release—that it was dumping Silverlight and had signed a two-year deal with Adobe to use Flash again for live streaming.”
Read the rest of this excellent article by Elizabeth Montalbano at MacWorld: http://www.macworld.com/article/138809/2009/02/silverlight.html
ITV had this to say regarding its dumping of Silverlight (although in my opinion somewhat none comital as to why):
ITV can confirm it has switched from Microsoft’s Silverlight to Adobe Flash to support the ITV Player on ITV.com
and also said on their Twitter feed:
As you’ve probably gathered, we’re now using Flash on our site rather than Silverlight.
We also only need to cast our mind back a few months to when MLB dumped Silverlight in favor of Flash too.
The Register has this to ask:
The awkward question: If it’s that easy to port Microsoft Silverlight to Linux, why does the Moonlight project exist at all?
A reader of Openbytes recently refered to Silverlight as Silverblight, which although a good take on the name is inaccurate, how can it be a blight when IMO few people want to use it? In my computing world Silverlight has had little to no effect and infact if it wasn’t for ITV using it at one point I don’t think I would have ever had any contact with it.
How things change? There was a time when Microsoft could count on users following like sheep to every RC they churned out. Now it seems to me that the only advocacy they get is when offering prizes, gifts and enticements to users in order for them to pimp themselves in cyberspace in order to get a freebie. When sales reps are being trained in counters to Linux in favor of Microsoft products does that suggest to you that Microsoft products are actually the best on the market? I didn’t see these type of tactics being used for Firefox yet its already taken IMO a massive chunk of IE’s share. Why? Because people actually like it. Simple.
Keeping on topic and talking about Moonlight and Mr De Icaza, there is also “controversy” recently regarding RMS allegedly saying that Mr De Icaza was a “traitor to open source”, this has obviously started up the blog posts of RMS loosing his mind, RMS this, RMS that. I don’t know about anyone else but I think Icaza, RMS, Shuttleworth or anyone else in the computer world don’t speak for me or indeed the FOSS community as a whole. I have this silly notion that my I get my opinions from my own personal experiences and unlike the MS faithful do not hang on the word of any one person (in their case Ballmer IMO) for my views. Why do some like to promote the view that just because RMS says something, the entire FOSS/Linux community wholeheartedly agree?
I have alot of respect for the work RMS has done and I agree with much of what he says. There is also much I disagree with. The same goes for any other person who puts opinion on the net.
So what of Mr De Icaza? As a person, I am sure he is a very nice chap. Is he good for open source, Linux? I would say my opinion on that doesn’t matter. I don’t like the way Icaza (IMO) appears to chase Microsoft technologies (and remember we’ve quoted statements with a pro-Microsoft flavor that Mr De Icaza is alleged to have said going back a long way) I don’t like the way Icaza seems happy to not only promote a Linux flavor of a Microsoft technology (Mono/Moonlight) and be happy to have Linux’s version playing second fiddle to Microsoft. That aside though, he is an adult, has his own opinion and the right go in whatever direction he chooses. The point I make is that he stopped going in the same direction as me years ago. Is he a traitor? I would say thats a little harsh and in anycase premature. Time will tell as to the direction of his projects.
So is Microsoft desperate for its Silverlight product to be accepted? In my opinion yes, I think the Moonlight project has failed to grasp the love of the Linux community firstly because of previous allegations against Microsoft and Mr De Icaza’s apparent love of Microsoft (IMO) and secondly because Moonlight (IMO) was a pale reflection of Microsoft’s alleged sparkling jewel Silverlight (pun intended)
WINDOWS MOBILE, BETTER NEXT TIME?
Ive often joked about the comment of “It will be better next time” when mentioning certain Microsoft products, but if the allegations of Twitter users who were in attendance at Microsoft’s Venture Capital Summit are correct, it appears that Steve Ballmer doesn’t have a high opinion of Windows Mobile. No surprise for me there since I suffered with Windows Mobile on an MDA Mail and its a topic I have often mentioned on this blog. It was the first phone where I had the battery cover break on me (when Windows Mobile crashed for me on a regular basis it did so with style, refusing to respond to any button and requiring me to remove the battery to switch it off) anyway I digress, Steve Ballmer is alleged to have said:
“We ‘screwed up with Windows Mobile'”
Really? Is that an apology? Mr Ballmer I would suggest that is of little comfort to the users of it. Are you acknoledging Mr Ballmer that Windows Mobile was infact hopeless? if this is the start of a brave new age of Microsoft openness what about apologizing for some of your other products?
Just with Vista, Microsoft has ruined its chances of being accepted by me again. How many more products is Microsoft going to have to “be better next time?” before people will turn away? Lets look at some other examples, the numerous returns on faulty Xbox 360’s? the new year Zune problems? and what do users have to look forward to in relation to Windows 7? remember we were told that Vista was going to be great pre-release. Is Microsoft going to apologize there as well?
THE DESPERATION CONTINUES?
In my opinion the desperation of Microsoft in wanting you to use it’s products is displayed perfectly in the Windows 7 Party campaign (below video) where it takes a Tupperware/Ann Summers type approach to try and get YOU to promote its software with the enticement of chances to win prizes etc (IMO). As I’ve said before, it appears to me that Microsoft gets its advocacy by enticements. A little different to someone who recommends Linux eh?
The following video has been slated over the net with comments such as:
Unbelievable. I guess it speaks volumes about the intellect of a typical windows user. The marketing person responsible for this should be shot.
…..I would say it speaks volumes on how Microsoft envisions their users though.
Are micro$oft seriously suggesting people have a windows 7 party. WTF!
These are merely a small selection of comments from Engadget. The disgust of users appears to continue on Youtube, with comments such as:
I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less than go to a Windows 7 launch party…..
Anyway you can see it for yourself now, I have to admit this video is (IMO) even more cringe worthy than one of the “I’m a PC” ads or heaven help us, Steve Ballmer on one of his stage presentations.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org