Monday, 17 March 2008

So much for Silverlight...

Microsoft has just licensed Adobe’s FlashLite for Windows Mobile phones - see here .

A little bit of background for anyone who doesn't really understand this. Adobe's Flash is the de facto standard for delivering animation, vector graphics and rich media to the web. Recently, Microsoft has released a technology called Silverlight that aims to do the same thing. Displacing Flash is quite a lofty goal though, even for Microsoft, as Flash has over ninety percent market share.

So what is behind this move of licensing Flahlite for mobile phones from Adobe? Is it a loss of confidence in their fledgling technology? Is Silverlight not all that? Is it perhaps too resource heavy (as Microsoft's technologies often are, they're often just pushing the next generation of hardware after all) for current generation mobile phones?

Perhaps Microsoft is playing it safe, providing all the options, unlike the iPhone? After all, there is no Flash on the iPhone. This did puzzle me for a while, until I learned that you can do voice over IP in Flash.. i.e. make free phone calls. AT&T and O2 wouldn't be happy with that. So maybe this is a move so they can say Windows Mobile is better than the iPhone, which in this case, would be true.

Whatever, it can really only be a good thing for Windows Mobile users... not that I'm one. I once owned an O2 SDK with Windows Mobile 2003 OS on it and it would lock up and crash all the time, so I sold it on eBay and never looked back. Now I use a small, regular mobile phone that never crashes and has very good battery life. Result.