Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sorry Google. We're not supporting you.

As anticipated, Microsoft unveiled the latest version of their Adobe Flash competitor this morning.

Silverlight 2 (build 2.0.31005.0) removes the 'Beta' tag and takes the product 'Final'.

A quick preview across a number of Windows based computers provided some interesting results, as well as a few disturbing ones.

Silverlight 2 performed like a rock star using Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2.  Similarly, it rendered Silverlight-based rich media graphics well with Internet Explorer 7.

The turnkey upgrade (if you have a previous version installed) also installs and works well with the increasingly popular Mozilla browser, Firefox 3.

As for Google's new lightweight browser Chrome ... "We're sorry, please see the system requirements". 

(To be fair, the Chrome team is still working on add-in and extension possibilities including Sun's Java, but Flash does render well inside the Chrome browser).

The immediate (and hopefully premature) concern is that we're not headed back to a 1990's style web standards war, which would make the life of a lot of web designers just a brand new compatibility nightmare.

In recent months, Microsoft has made many more of their websites compatible with Firefox and the latest Gecko engine.  Let's hope that trend continues on ALL sides so we don't have casual web users wondering "How come you can see it and I can't??"

Silverlight 2 will be delivered (most-likely later today) directly to Windows users via Microsoft Update.  For those interested in development, a new SDK has been posted to the Microsoft Download Center.