We already remember the words that people were using when Microsoft's Silverlight service launched over a year ago. Ugly, Horrible, Lacking, Under-performing. It was a very sad time. The MLB dropped Silverlight for Adobe, which caused a huge uproar and a loss of followers who are loyal to baseball. Even worse, a list of glitches over at Netflix caused the platform to be under fire.
Luckily, times have changed. Call Silverlight butter because they're on a roll! Microsoft has seen a plentiful bounty with NBC using Silverlight to stream the 2010 Winter Olympics as well as CBS using them for a mainly lag-free NCAA Men's college basketball tournament. CBSSports.com had reported to have streamed more than 11 million hours of live audio and video using Silverlight. Even Netflix has had a change of heart, stating that managers are generally happy with the service and performance with delivering digital content over the Internet. To make things better, Microsoft has announced that they are teaming up with Intel and Broadcom to make Silverlight work on set-top boxes and other devices. Also, later next week we should expect a release date for Silverlight's latest upgrade.
Of course, we are seeing Microsoft play a game of catch-up with Adobe's Flash platform, but they have recently reported to be scared of Apple.
Silverlight, however, still isn't the perfect platform. CBSSports.com did mention a small amount of glitches in the system during the tournament, but Microsoft has already addressed those issues.
"Silverlight wasn't perfect," said one source with knowledge of the problems. "Flash isn't perfect either. These technologies are still developing."
Here's where it gets weird though. We know that Apple has still not admitted that Flash is part of over half of the Internet, thus blocking it from all of their iPads and iPhones. Strangely, Microsoft has said that they plan to update their Internet Information Media Services to be able to convert media to Apple's streaming format, in order to bring it to the iPad. What!? Do these guys know they are competitors? Did they forget the battle between WinMo/Pho and the iPhone OS? What in the world is going on here? Shouldn't Apple team with Adobe and Microsoft battle them with Silverlight? With all of this confusion and madness, I know that if I ever meet any head of Microsoft, Adobe or Apple, and they hand me a drink, it's going right into the faux plants in the foyer.