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MS Silverlight vs. Adobe Flash

MS Silverlight vs. Adobe Flash

Microsoft made another significant stride at the March MIX conference where the company released version 3.0 of its Silverlight web plugin. The latest version is implemented with new multimedia features and now has the ability to run applications offline. The buzz around Silverlight 3.0 has many wondering when Adobe will upgrade Flash and try to one-up Microsoft in the race for first.

Silverlight 3.0 introduces many improvements over its predecessor, utilizing hardware graphics acceleration and offering support for 3D effects. These dynamic features can be used for everything from viewing HD video to sprucing up corporate applications. The newest version of Silverlight has the ability to reach beyond the browser and qualifies as a cross-platform solution. This plugin is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and even Linux thanks to the Mono Moonlight variation.

Silverlight Advantages

Flash is obviously the more mature product as it has been around for over a decade. In addition, technologies introduced by Macromedia and Abode have simply been leveraged by Microsoft and implemented into Silverlight. Be that as it may, there are many factors that give Silverlight the advantage in this debate.

Integration with .NET Technologies – Although Microsoft has been an innovator in the technology market, most of it products have the same basic trait – seamless integration with one another. Silverlight meshes perfectly with a number of Microsoft’s enterprise class .NET-based technologies such as VB.NET and the .NET Framework. This is a major benefit for users who have experience coding in Microsoft client and server-side programming environments.

Efficient Programming Environment – The IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Silverlight is Microsoft Visual Studio, arguably the best on the market. Whether you are a programmer who specializes in Java, C or C++, this environment is one you are sure to fall in love with. When it comes to MS Visual Studio and Adobe Flex Builder, there is really no comparison.

Its Microsoft – Silverlight has a huge advantage over Flash for the simple fact that it’s a Microsoft product. Let’s face it; Microsoft still has a stronghold over the desktop market, controlling the scene in both the home and business setting. The prevalence of Windows alone is bound to attract more users to Silverlight. And once the benefits become more widely known, more programmers will reach out for this powerful multimedia tool.


Silverlight vs. Flash always makes for an intriguing debate but if you want to look at it from a market share perspective, the battle isn’t even close. As of now, Flash is dominating the field of feature-rich internet applications. However, Microsoft is quickly gaining ground with Silverlight and in a few years, the evolution of its dynamic extension could be reflected on the market. It is probably safe to assume that the developer and user communities don’t mind if these two software giant’s battle it out. The more they go at it, the more developers will be able to create web applications with powerful, efficient tools that enhance the user experience. Microsoft pulled a major weapon out of its arsenal with the introduction of Silverlight 3.0. Where will Adobe and Flash go from here?

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