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WP7S app development via XNA and Silverlight, bodes poorly for Flash support



Leaked documents (always the best kind) via WM PowerUser layout the application platform for WP7S, and it’s all about XNA and Silverlight. XNA isn’t surprising given it’s the framework used for the XBox, part of Microsoft’s entertainment division, but Silverlight, as a competitor to Adobe Flash, creates an interesting situation.

The big news for developers, as broken down by Ars Technica, is that applications are handled almost entirely through managed code. On the consumer side, it seems the fight to be king of web interactivity is heating up. As folks continue to choose sides in the Apple vs. Adobe war, either angry or delighted over the lack of Adobe Flash support on the iPhone OS and Steve Jobs’ insistence that switching to HTML5 is a “trivial” matter, Microsoft appears to be backing their own contender, Silverlight. Per Wikipedia:

Microsoft Silverlight is a web application framework that provides functionalities similar to those in Adobe Flash, integrating multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into a single runtime environment.

So, if the application platform on Windows Phone 7 Series consists of developing in Silverlight, then what incentive does Microsoft have to support Silverlight’s competitor on Windows Phone 7 Series, which initially will not have Flash support? And could Adobe build their own Flash player for WP7S in Microsoft’s platform of managed code and runtime environments? Interesting times ahead.



  1. Frank

    02/20/2010 at 1:25 pm

    Silverlight is the best technology!
    Can’t wait to develop for WP7 and reuse my desktop/browser code!

  2. GoodThings2Life

    02/20/2010 at 2:25 pm

    Adobe can’t go away fast enough… and I hope they take their PDF files with them! But still, in the mean time, I don’t see them dying off quickly, and I don’t see them not releasing the functionality on as many platforms as they can just to cling on to what they have now.

  3. Virtuous

    02/21/2010 at 12:57 am

    Flash is a resource pig.

  4. Frank

    02/21/2010 at 3:49 am

    even if Flash is a ressoure pig, it’s better to get free cross platform compatible games and tools as Flash programs, which stress the CPU a little bit, than to have to pay for each single thing for a stupid mostly useless proprietary Apple App.
    Silverlight? Well, I haven’t used it. I don’t even have it installed, so I can’t tell you if it’s really that much different than flash, regrading animations, etc.
    PDF: Since I use PDF Revu I adore the PDF file format. At least is this format readable on almost every device by a variety of different programs, perfect for eBooks, either scanned with an OCR text layer or directly from the publisher as curves, perfect suited to print documents and the print-out looks exactly like the page I see on my tablet PC screen. So it’s also perfect for document archiving, … you can store the image pages in lossless TIFF or also JPEG, you can print to PDF …
    Well, I haven’t seen anything comparable powerful yet.

  5. Francis Sepparton

    02/21/2010 at 5:04 am

    The problem with Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 Series is that it does not support Flash, and it doesn’t support HTML-5, which offers similar functionality.

    You get only Microsoft’s proprietary Silverlight.

    This means you’re locked into Microsoft’s little closed world, that doesn’t play nicely with cross-platform industry standards. There’s even a hardware button on every phone that takes you directly to Bing, to stop you using Google.

    Microsoft played this game in the Desktop PC world. However, in the mobile world, Microsoft is only a minority player. I think it will backfire on them.

    • Jake

      02/21/2010 at 5:24 pm

      Does Android come with built-in support for Bing?

  6. Eric

    02/21/2010 at 12:37 pm

    Re: what incentive does Microsoft have to support Silverlight’s competitor on Windows Phone 7 Series

    — Well, the biggest incentive would be a PR campaign against Apple. It will be in Microsoft’s best interest to side with Adobe in this fight (end-users will appreciate it). But yes, that’s a big trade-off if they want Silverlight to be *the* platform of choice for delivering and running web apps.

  7. Fabio

    02/23/2010 at 7:29 am

    The definition for “Silverlight” published on the
    Wikipedia is obsolete. In fact, Silverlight
    is much more than a media player. Silverlight is
    part of the Microsoft framework that allows to distribute business applications like never before.
    Specifically through the WP7, Silverlight brings to
    the world of portable communication devices the experience of desktop applications, without the application needs to be rewritten. Adobe, Apple or Google have nothing to looks like this.

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