Will love-hate relationship continue with Flash 11?

The love-hate relationship that millions of computer geeks around the world have with Flash is about to change. Flash Player has gotten a makeover and released its version 11. The widely-used browser plug-in from Adobe got an overhaul, undoubtedly due to threats to its monopoly from rapidly-growing web standards competitors like HTML5, Silverlight and Java FX. Web standards coming to market is the only threat to Flash’s supremacy though, Adobe’s brainchild has also been locked out of iOS devices and has only a small foothold with Android.

With this new release of Flash Adobe seems to be forgetting the iOS lockout and other cellphone and tablet platforms, and instead is targeting high-end technology — specifically within gaming, high-end video, in-house application building and the growing 64-bit world.

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Linux Shines from Silverlight to Moonlight

If I were to inquire Linux users about how would they scrutinize various applications on the Web if the functionality gets closer to that of Microsoft; their answer would perhaps be Moonlight 1.0 which had been released to provide them the feature parity with Microsoft’s Silverlight 1.0.

The first beta of the Linux implementation of Silverlight, the Novell-sponsored Moonlight project has been released. Moonlight is an open source implementation of Silverlight, primarily for Linux and other Unix/X11 based operating systems. It is designed is a way that Linux users can access additional content and where Microsoft delivers the content to the non-Windows users. With this it can be drawn that now onwards Linux users won’t miss any interesting when it comes to Web content.

Moonlight 1.0 delivers compatibility with Silverlight 1.0 media with some features from the Silverlight 2.0 specifications, which has officially been available from Microsoft recently. In fact Moonlight 1.0 has almost every facet which is available in Silverlight 2.0.

The main initiative behind the Moonlight 1.0 is to enable the compatibility for running of Silverlight applications on Linux, to provide a Linux SDK and to reuse the Silverlight engine that is being built for the desktop applications.

The key delivery mechanism is the web browser which ultimately provides Silverlight compatibility to Linux users. The moonlight extension presently supports Firefox 2 and 3.But there are plans to work on the Webkit version which would be supported by Apple Safari and Google Chrome users like the same. The team which has been working on the Moonlight project is also aiming towards something known as ‘desklets’ that would get the Silverlight applications to the desktop. This is possible only after Moonlight 2.0 will be available which is being targeted for September, 2009. As currently Silverlight is available for both Windows and Mac OS (Intel platforms only).

Silverlight 1.0 is focused on enabling rich media scenarios in a browser. Some of its features include;

  • For playing VC-1 and WMV video, and MP3 and WMA audio within a browser, it has built-in codec support.
  • It supports the ability to progressively download and play media content from any web-server.
  • Built-in media streaming is another feature
  • Silverlight enables to create rich UI and animations, and blend vector graphics with HTML to create compelling content experiences. For this, it supports a JavaScript programming model.
  • It is now easy with Silverlight to build rich video player interactive experiences. Silverlight also provides the ability to resize running video on the fly without requiring the video stream to be stopped or restarted.

With Silverlight support on Linux these features will be available to all the Linux users. This compatible Silverlight run for Linux is what is called the Moonlight. Moonlight will run on all Linux distributions, and support Firefox, Konqueror and Opera browsers. Hence, with the plethora of controls that have been enabled, the Moonlight project can finally utilize those controls to build Silverlight desklets. The Linux users can now spice up their desktop applications, as well!

Why NBC dumped Silverlight for Flash?

The Olympics online were a joint production between NBC and Microsoft, and an opportunity for Microsoft to build a user base for Sillverlight, its new media player. But Flash has a much larger installed base — it’s installed on 98% of Internet-connected desktops, and is pretty much the standard for all mainstream Web video. During the Olympics, 40 million US to visitors NBCOlympics.com didn’t yet have Silverlight installed.

However, NBC dumped Silverlight in favor of Flash for live streaming of Sunday Night Football this fall. (Via: Valleywag)

Java creator, James Gosling does his part of Flash Bashing

I thought Flash Bashing, these days, are done only by the Internet’s semi-literates! Coming from a respectable person like James Gosling, the creator of Java is rather uncalled for. Nonetheless, it is understandable since his works somewhat relates him to JavaFX (supposedly, a competitor to the client side apps of the Flash Platform). He has all the rights to be on the defensive (rather abusive) perspective towards their extremely successful competitor – Flash.
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Web video gone wild

Recently, Adobe announced the availability of the beta version of their latest Flash Player. With it came the good news about the future of high quality video on the Internet – support for H.264 video, ACC Audio, et al. Of course, the superior quality that H.264 will bring is definitely going to be a key factor in the future. However, what tagged along with the good news were some caveats and strings that will make you to think and ponder upon what it will cost you.

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Microsoft Silverlight 1.0

Silverlight“Light up the web” or “Experience what you’re missing” are the slogans of this relatively new product from Microsoft.

Few days back, Microsoft released their flagship interactive media browser plugin – Silverlight. Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E) is a direct competitor to Adobe’s FlashPlayer. Pretty much like Flash, Silverlight is a complement and runtime for Internet Web browsers whereby users can view videos, vector graphics, text, 2D animations and render Rich Internet Applications (RIA). According to Microsoft it’s a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in capable of delivering the next generation media experiences.

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