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Microsoft and Adobe escalate war of words

Silverlight v Flash battle intensifies
Fri Feb 13 2009, 10:42

SILVERLIGHT EVANGELIST Tim Sneath has had a pop at comments made by Adobe boss Mark Garret, who said that Microsoft's answer to Flash had fizzled out after a promising start.

Writing on his bog, Sneath said that he thought Garret was living in a fantasy world if he thought that Silverlight was in anything other than rude health. "The suggestion that Silverlight adoption has fizzled out in the last 6-9 months' is pretty risible."

Sneath also suggests that some of Adobe's figures might be skewed by the fact that users are locked into installing software they may not even want.


"Adobe claim that they have 100 million downloads of AIR, and that 'the vast majority are being driven by great, popular applications', listing the likes of Adobe Media Player, Tweetdeck and Twhirl as the most popular examples. Yet they have been actively bundling AIR with Adobe [Acrobat] Reader, one of the most downloaded applications on the Internet, and you don’t even have an option to opt out of its installation.

"By framing AIR in this way, Adobe are hoping to create a self-fulfilling prophecy – but the reality is rather less positive."

Sneath goes on to suggest that Adobe was using underhand tactics to prevent Silverlight from clawing back market share from Flash, which has an undeniably strong hold on the media delivery arena. "They want to protect their Flash market share by shutting out new market entrants," he opined, "but just saying something doesn’t make it true."

While it's true that Silverlight did not live up to the expectations of many, Sneath is confident that Silverlight 2 will be the platform to see Flash knocked from its lofty position at the top of the heap.

"Silverlight 2 shipped four months ago, and in just the first month of its availability, we saw over 100 million successful installations just on consumer machines. That doesn’t sound like 'fizzling out' to me." µ




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