Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Is Silverlight truly WPF/E (WPF Everywhere)?

Silverlight 2.0 scheduled to be released after Q1 of 2008 has raised the bar for the functionality and to resemble closely to WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) during its early days it was code named WPF/E for WPF Everywhere but now that a stable version is announced its worth looking does it resemble WPF and possible ubiquity of Silverlight plug-in.

Silverlight Adoption

We already know that Silverlight 2.0 will support Internet Explorer, Safari, FireFox, Opera, Konqueror, SeaMonkey on Windows, Mac and Linux (Moonlight Project),  these three OS constitutes of 99.8% of the total market share for OS accessing Internet applications (Source: Market Share). 

As this date Silverlight doesn't support all web browsers and we don't know anything about Mobile browsers/OS. Statistics show that these non supporting browsers constitutes  of about 1% of the browser market share (source: Market Share). This figure is impressive for possible deployment or adoption of Silverlight applications. But many might argue about these figure, especially who what to implement advertisements using Silverlight. If same figure is put in perspective with the number of web browsers with JavaScript disabled 6% (Source: W3Schools), in this context the possible ubiquity of Silverlight compared to AJAX (required JavaScript) is very wide.

Having said that Silverlight possible ubiquity is about 99%, it is interesting to note that this figure doesn't constitute Mobile browsers/OS. Microsoft showed interest in Mobile market but they haven't made any of their plans for Mobile browsers public. I'll write a follow up blog when Microsoft announce their intentions.

But how good if 99% possible ubiquity? Flash who have ruled this RIA area for more than a decade have Flash ubiquity of 99.1% (Source Adobe), including Flash, and Flash Lite for mobile.

Silverlight, Flash and JavaFX could well wipe the horrible HTML based web pages for good and replace with rich, interactive applications, now that Flash doesn't have a monopoly in RIA development, we could well see a change rich web sites in near future. Flash is already well established share in mobile market, and JavaFX seems to be focusing more in mobile market, its a shame Microsoft hasn't announced anything for Mobile market as yet.

In next part "Is Silverlight truly WPF/E" we will look at how large subset of WPF can we expect in Silverlight 2.0

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