Demand for Microsoft Silverlight remains sluggish

Microsoft is on a quest to own the Internet. Fortunately, few are buying as yet.

Microsoft has been making a big push to own the web with Silverlight, but six months into the experiment, few are signing up to help with the coup d'etat. Sure, Microsoft is seeing plenty of downloads (1.5 million per day, in fact, though this may have to do more with Microsoft games than real demand)Computerworld scanned the job boards and printed book titles to gauge Silverlight demand and found it a distant also-ran to Adobe's Flash:

[T]he ratio of jobs mentioning Flash or Silverlight heavily favored the former. Ratios ranged from a high of 67:1 in favor of Flash at to a still weighty 24:1 at All told, averaging ratios from the nine sites found programming jobs requiring Flash skills to be 41 times more plentiful than ones asking for Silverlight.

Silverlight is new and so it's to be expected that it will take time to find publishers and employers who need in-house expertise. Even so, if developers were actively interested in it they would be searching for more information on it. They're not, as this Google Trends report shows:

No love for little Silverlight, which is a Very Good Thing. Who wants the future of the web joined to Microsoft's hip? Not I, for reasons similar to these noted by a Slashdot commentator:

Don't kid yourself - the reasoning behind Silverlight has nothing to do with Microsoft striving to make the Web a better place. It's all about gaining more control of a medium they never had much to say with (apart from the dominance of the IE, which is now being chewed at by Mozilla/Firefox).

Amen. Microsoft has been a poor steward of desktop innovation. I'd hate to see what it would do to the web.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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