Silverlight cross platform?

3 05 2007

I don’t think so, not yet anyway. As the current buzz around people ‘in the know’, Silverlight is creating big waves, and strong emotions, in a lot of people. The pro-softies say it will dominate web tech, the anti’s say it’s going to be one more tools MS uses to ‘lock’ you into their platform. But how can the antis be right when Silverlight is a coss-platform, open-source product?

Ok, so lets zip on over to the MS website and download the plugin. Ah, well, that would be great if I were using Windows or OS X. No love for GNU/’Nix though. In fact, it looks like their never will be. According to the faq, ‘Silverlight will support all major browsers on both Mac OS X and on Windows’. Sorry, Ubuntu lovers, you’re screwed. At least until someone builds it for ‘Nix.

Which shouldn’t be long, because the code is open, right? Well, not quite. Parts of the code are open, but it’s not like you can check out the latest SVN release and build a nightly. It’s going to take some reverse engineering, and that will take some time.

It looks to me like the marketing department at MS is more about form than function, using phrases like ‘open source’ and ‘cross platform’ without any true commitment to the idea. Silverlight very well may be the ‘Next Big Thing’ in content rich web apps, but the business model currently behind it is nothing but a big yawn.