After listening to The Gang XVII, with its usual nuggets of awesomness (awesomity?) buried beneath hours of non-sequitur and Jason “Idiot Savant” Calacanis, I had to comment on something. The topic of Silverlight came up, and the comment was (paraphrasing) “why would all these Flash and Air developers bother to switch to Silverlight?”
Here’s the answer that wasn’t touched on in the show: it doesn’t matter a goddamn. Microsoft doesn’t need anyone to switch anywhere. They already have the largest and most influential group of developers on the planet a massive number of .NET developers. And you can bet that (just like .NET) there will be a Silverlight interpreter for Java.
Think back to VB6 and even VBA. It makes no difference what the academics think about a language or platform. If you build it, and it’s easy to use, they will come. It will take just one or two good viral apps to get Silverlight ‘stealth installed’ on the majority of PCs. To date the only Air app I’ve seen was the Pownce client, and it just pissed me off the way Air was so intrusive and non-intuitive. Adobe: I don’t want to run web apps on my desktop!
I want to run desktop apps on my web.