Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Ars Technica Predicts Microsoft’s Silverlight Will Kill Flash

Published May 1st, 2007

Microsoft’s Flash-killer Silverlight steals the show at MIX07

Ars Technica had better can some of these guys who have become blatant cheerleaders for Microsoft, or they’re going to start losing readers. In response to this biased piece on Microsoft’s new Silverlight technology, which is specifically designed to compete with Flex, Apollo, and Flash, I left this little message as a comment:

Regardless of how good or bad Microsoft’s version of Flash (or Ajax, or JPEG, or MPEG, or PDF, or you name it) may be, the fact is that Microsoft has a monopoly on corporate desktops, one that it won illegally by the way but has never been brought to task for. Its technologies should be avoided entirely unless you really want to see Microsoft extend them to the entire range of computing environments eventually.

In other words, unless you really want competition and innovation in computing to grind to a halt, you should always look for alternatives to whatever Microsoft is selling. And please avoid playing Microsoft cheerleader in a serious technology journal like Ars Technica would like to be. The point is, new Microsoft standards aren’t necessary… we have plenty of good ones already. Every time Microsoft comes along with another of its proprietary versions of existing standards, it only serves to confuse the market and slow the adoption and use of web technologies. Look at what happened when they crushed Netscape in the late 1990’s… it’s taken 10 years to recover from that, so that we’re finally seeing the kinds of web interfaces I, for one, was ready to deliver in 1998.

Not only that, but each Microsoft technology takes up mindshare that squeezes out genuinely innovative ideas from much smaller, potential competitors. And small companies, as everybody who’s taken Econ 101 knows, is where innovation occurs in this economy. Every time Microsoft buys up a small company with a good idea (think: Vermeer and FrontPage), it ruins a tool that could be really useful (it didn’t take long for FrontPage to turn the web into a bunch of pages that didn’t work in non-IE browsers, or non-Windows platforms, for example, by injecting Active/X controls and proprietary IE tags into the pages it created… the same is true of every MS development tool, for that matter).

If you’re really in favor of open competition in our economy, you’d never select a Microsoft product as the basis for anything. If they didn’t already own the desktop, it would be different. Since they do, they need to be simply ignored in technologies they don’t already own. Remember, regardless of what their sometimes sympathetic spokespoeple may say, Microsoft’s entire product line is designed to extend the Windows platform as far as possible. That’s it.

I think a lot of people believe it’s extended far enough already, thanks. If you agree, just say no to Microsoft’s latest candy. That includes you, Microsoft apologists who write for Ars Technica.

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash