For the past 2 weeks I have been saying Adobe Flash is done because of Silverlight 3 part1 and part 2. Now, Microsoft releases the beta of Silverlight 4 and I can honestly say that Adobe Flash should get out of the RIA arena entirely. Is this a stretch?, why did anyone think an animation product could compete in the RIA space in the first place?
The manner in which Microsoft released the beta of Silverlight 4 at the Professional Developer Conference on Nov 18th shows me one thing, Microsoft is not only very serious about being the leader in the RIA arena but they are looking to crush the competition, namely Adobe Flash.
First, the speed in which this beta was announced, just 3 months after the release of Silverlight 3. The release of Silverlight 3 was huge, but this beta just completely blows it away. The demos presented at the PDC conference by Scott Guthrie were simply great and just sent the developers into a frenzy.
Secondly, the new features in Silverlight 4 are simply unbelievable. The new features include:
Webcam and microphone support
Library sharing with WPF
Right click support
Drag and Drop from desktop
WCF RIA Services
New Windowing API’s
Notification pop-up support
Keyboard in Fullscreen mode
Hardware device access
The planned release of Silverlight 4 is in the first half of 2010.
I love how folks are not agreeing with me on the end of Adobe Flash and sending me emails, the bottom line is that I see this as the modern day “Browser wars” when Microsoft went all out against Netscape and crushed them. I see Microsoft doing the same in the RIA space and Microsoft is going all out to win. Microsoft doing a release like this in 3 months, I ask myself how many resources were ported over from other products to this release?
Developers can start building apps but the player is not pubicly available
Silverlight 4 Beta Information – Get all your downloads here
Silverlight 4 Beta – A guide to the new features
Silverlight 4 runtime