More Details on Microsoft’s ‘Flash Killer’

Up in Redmond at Microsoft today, I just saw a demo of WPF/E, Microsoft’s pre-launch cross-platform web application builder, which has a lot of rich media support. Scott Guthrie, the general manager of the team creating WPF/E (which he promises will be renamed), showed it off to a group of bloggers invited here for the day. You can see the same stuff on the official website.

Mary Jo Foley recently had a good post on the confusion around WPF/E, which she had others have called “Microsoft’s Flash killer.” The company is now promising a release around the time of its MIX conference in Las Vegas in April.

Some quick notes that seemed relevant to NewTeeVee readers:

  • planning Flash-like deployment, with plug-in you only have to install once
  • compatible with Safari, Firefox for Mac and Windows, IE (Interesting that that’s the order they mentioned them in. Most people here have their Macs out on the table.)
  • back button in browser goes back to last video, rather than losing your place like in Flash
  • similar to AJAX: video stream size can be reset on screen without changing the user experience—don’t have to reload page and video keeps playing
  • “We get beyond the file upload dialog that hasn’t progressed since 1995.” (e.g. Potential scenario: If you plugged in memory stick while on Flickr site in your browser, asks which you which pics you want to upload)
  • working on export from desktop tools used to mock-up web apps (examples mentioned: PowerPoint, Photoshop)

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