opinion


What’s behind the Microsoft Flash deal?

I was interested to see that Microsoft has decided to licence Adobe’s Flash Lite player for its Windows Mobile operating system, particularly as Microsoft’s own Silverlight is widely seen as a competitor to Flash.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Finnish handset vendor Nokia revealed that it plans to make Microsoft’s Silverlight web platform available for Symbian S60 devices as well as for Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets.

This is a big deal for Microsoft as it gives the platform much needed credibility in the mobile space. But what does it mean in light of the latest announcement from Microsoft?

Well, given that the vast majority of video available on the internet is encoded in Flash, it makes sense for Microsoft to support this format while it gets Silverlight off the ground properly.

Flash maker Adobe said that installations of its Flash Player for mobile devices grew by 150 per cent in the last year, with more than 500 million devices running the software, while at present, Silverlight is available on exactly zero devices.


One comment

  1. Pascal 20/03/2008 @ 8:43 am

    Microsoft has realised that re-inventing the wheel is not sustainable. I still find it difficult to comprehend how this company was been trying to secretly advance an agenda that would have pushed the mobile industry to the dark days of proprietary computing.

    Nokia ‘partnership’ with Microsoft was an attempt to protect their handset market from the likes of Samsung and emerging IP-telephony sets optimised for WiFi and WiMAX networks.

    Microsoft lost the plot when they tried to dominate a mass-market service with the same tactics they used to strangle innovation at desktop level. Expect more ‘partnerships’ from Microsoft as computing moves from the notebook to the mobile handset.

    On a positive note, the functionality of our handsets will become more customisable to the average user unlike the rigid Symbian. This OS requires one to have a degree in inter-planetary gravitational algorithms just to get it to perform simple tasks like automatically forwarding text messages.

    – Pascal

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