Oops…I found Silverlight under my bed

Have you checked your Program Files folder lately? If you did not, do it now. Surprise, Surprise! My happy family may have a new kid ndash; Microsoft Silverlight made itself comfy on my machine.

There are different ways of delivering the run time environment for rich Internet applications to users PCs.

The AJAX crowd proudly states ndash; 100% of computer users have everything we need to run our applications. JavaScript is installed on every user “s machine, unless some psycho has disabled it. XmlHttpRequest object is also there.

Sun Microsystems ” speakers usually includes a slide in their presentation that states that several hundred million devices have JVM installed. Do not even think of asking the presenter this question, “How many of these JVM will be able to run my Java program XYZ? rdquo; Oh well, all these JVMs are a little bit different. Next year Sun will start its long Consume- JRE-penetration-journey with a hope that some day, every client device will have its version that will be compatible with all Java programs. If Sun Microsystems had this power to force feed your PC with the latest JRE, Java would be the number one tool for creation of Rich Internet Application, and they would not be spending years scratching their heads about the mystery of seamless install of a VM.

Six years ago, when Sun Microsystems and Microsoft settled the lawsuit about Java, both parties made happy statements, but this settlement was a major mistake on Sun ‘s part. Of course, they did manly thing by not allowing Micosoft to inject their libraries to JDK, but they should have made another deal that would allow Microsoft to distribute the latest JRE as part of Windows updates. This way 90% of the people in the world would have had the right version of JRE on their machines. SUN would be a leader in the RIA space by now.

A well-mannered Flash Player will ask you if you “d like to download Flash Player 9 IF AND ONLY IF you visit a Web page that includes a program that needs Flash Player 9. But even this polite way of asking for upgrade allowed Flash Player 9 to get installed on more than 93% of all computers (countries like Nigeria and Somalia do not count).

When Microsoft released their RIA tool called Silverlight, I thought to myself, “Microsoft is still a very powerfull company, but it “ll take them a while to get the Silverlight runtime to a substantial number of clients. rdquo; Boy, I was wrong! Microsoft is pushing it to every Windows user like myself as a Windows update. All of a sudden I have it installed on my PC without even asking. Not too kosher, but it gets things done.

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