It's finally here. Andy Plesser got the jump on the news that Silverlight 1.0, Microsoft's rival to Flash, is officially out in the wild. The announcement also came with the welcome news that Microsoft will be supporting Moonlight, the Linux implementation as part of the Novell partnership the two companies signed earlier this year. Finally, they have some really cool partners including Entertainment Weekly and the WWE (which is awesome).
So it begins. I work for Adobe, but this is nothing but good news for the RIA world. Silverlight 1.0 has always been primarily a video initiative and the partners show that. But now that it's actually released, we can start comparing real products and what people are doing with them. I think the announcement of Silverlight helped speed Adobe in the direction of H.264 support which is going to be great for customers. The fact that we have two smart, established companies pushing the limits of video on the web is decidedly a good thing and the Linux support on both ends of the table is absolutely phenomenal. I hope Linux fans feel like they're being given a real stake in the future of RIAs. This is going to mean more developers are going to be looking at RIA technologies and hopefully it will make the whole ecosystem grow.
It's going to be a fun few months/year. I think Silverlight 1.1 is the release that a lot of people are looking forward to because it supports the Common Language Runtime and enables you to write .NET rich internet applications in the browser. I'm pretty sure the ultimate comparisons are going to be made between Flash and Silverlight 1.1 because the programming models and performance are more on par than what Silverlight 1.0 offers right now. But having 1.0 released is a huge milestone and it will start the adoption train moving. Here's to better video on the web and the furthering of RIAs.