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Microsoft to heat up battle vs. Flash in '08
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Written by Daniel   
Friday, 21 December 2007 14:32

Microsoft's Silverlight will vie with Adobe for market share in the burgeoning RIA space
By Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service
December 21, 2007
InfoWorld

Every good general knows that even the biggest army is useless if you can't get it on the battlefield. Microsoft and Adobe will both experience a version of this dilemma in 2008, as they wrangle for market and mind share in the burgeoning RIA (rich Internet application) space, according to close observers of the companies.

"They both have their own power positions," said Forrester Research analyst Jeffrey Hammond, citing Flash's installed base, which has been pegged in the 90 percent range.



"The one place that Microsoft holds a wild card is with developers. There still are not that many Flex developers out there," Hammond added, referring to Adobe's toolset for RIA applications. The company is also developing the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), which lets Web developers build RIAs that can run on the desktop.

Of course, Microsoft's worldwide legions of programmers don't pose a great advantage if not enough users install Silverlight, its cross-platform browser plug-in for RIA applications.

"They need to get Silverlight on 70 to 80 percent of the Internet-connected machines," said Greg DeMichillie, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft.

One of the quickest ways to do that would be to ship the next version of Internet Explorer with Silverlight already embedded. But Hammond said this is unlikely, because doing so would likely prompt cries of outrage from competitors and perhaps antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft.... More     Comment in the forums
 

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