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Silverlight Goes Mobile With Nokia

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Nokia has signed up to use Microsoft’s Silverlight platform for its S60 and S40 mobile devices as well as its Nokia Internet tablets, marking the first mobile win for the Redmond giant’s rich media development framework. This follows announcements last year of Silverlight support for Linux and Macs. With the mobile push, Microsoft is moving toward making Silverlight a truly cross-platform tool, able to compete with Adobe Flash.

John Case, a general manager with Microsoft, said Nokia represents the first of several similar announcements for Silverlight on mobile devices. He also said the next generation of Windows Mobile will support Silverlight, though he declined to give a time frame for the release of Windows Mobile 7. In the year since Silverlight’s launch, more than 8,000 applications have been developed for it, according to Case.

Microsoft’s emphasis on getting Silverlight onto mobile devices, coupled with developments such as Intel’s push into low-power processors for mobile computing, further highlight the trend of “computing anywhere.” But while the hardware and software are important in pushing that trend, we need affordable ubiquitous broadband to make it worthwhile.

28 Responses to “Silverlight Goes Mobile With Nokia”

  1. The benefits of Silverlight are that its easier to develop for (.NET based – C#, JScript, IronPython, IronRuby – pick your flavor) and that it doesn’t suffer the weaknesses of Flash – namely its accessible and SEO optimized since everything is XML. You can also control Silverlight entirely from JavaScript ala SVG.

  2. Nokia just made it easier for me to choose a different smartphone. Silverlight looks crappy compare to Flash and thermo which will exponentially boost flex and RIAs UIs. I really hope the iPhone comes out with Flash sooon!!

    • Marc,
      Supporting Silverlight doesn’t mean they’ll NOT support Flash. I don’t know about the S60 and S40, but the Nokia Internet tablets (at least the N800 and N810) already support Flash. As an Internet tablet user, I’m glad Silverlight will also be supported.

    • ernieandbert

      I think the difference is that Flash application developers are generally interface designers and often have very limited understanding of the underlying technologies, services and protocols they are interacting with. Silverlight has opened the door for technically minded object oriented developers (Java, .NET) to effortlessly write sharp looking user interfaces without having to fork out extortionate licensing fees for a development tool and the pseudo-developers (electronic artists) that are familiar with it’s funky ways. Silverlight allows anybody with an internet connection and a domain to write and publish a professional looking, media enabled website without having to get a loan for development license fees.
      Silverlight is very young compared to Flash so it may not look quite as good but there are hundreds of thousands of Java and .NET developers who will be moving towards the light. Might have to get out of the way or get run over in the stampede.

  3. Stacey,

    I’m a robotics programmer, not a web programmer, but my understanding is that Silverlight is easier to program – Flash is kind of funky to program, Silverlight has the DLR (dynamic language runtime) so you can program it in IronPython, IronRuby, and other .NET languages.

    Then again, I’ve heard rumors of people porting other languages to run on Flash/AIR.

  4. Joseph

    Rick, Silverlight is Not better than Flash. I run on a man, and I installed the Silverlight to chewck out a site that requested it. It didn’t show up. As usual Microsoft sucks at releasing software, so having on a Mobile will make it far more frustrating. I wonder why they didn’t go for Flash 9. I see alot of potential with new RIAs coming out! There will be a lag and less attractive to use silverlight, from what I’ve seen so far.

  5. Stacey Higginbotham

    @Rick, since I’m not a developer I can’t talk about how easy or difficult it is to use either Silverlight or Flash, but Microsoft’s selling point is Silverlight is based on .Net, which many developers are already familiar with. Any experts in the audience, who care to comment on using either one?

  6. Aman Sehgal

    Will this step of Nokia to adopt Microsoft’s Silverlight for improving Internet Experience on Handsets takeover the experience offered by mozilla ?