Silverlight vs. Flash: Which one is more Flashy and Light?

By | September 29th, 2009



FutureWave’s SmartSketch later developed into Flash

It all started in 1995, when internet was reaching new dimensions and people at FutureWave realized the need of vector-based animation software to rival Macromedia’s Shockwave. They named it FutureSplash. After huge development cost and time, the product was offered to Adobe and Microsoft. By the end of 1996, Macromedia bought the complete software and released it as Flash, combination of “Future” from FutureWave and “Splash”.

silverlight vs flash Silverlight vs. Flash: Which one is more Flashy and Light?

Till Mid of 2007, Macromedia enjoyed the business of this revolutionary software which changed the look of Internet in drastic way. From online advertisements to complete websites to games, Flash was used in with its ease-full interface. Afterwards, Macromedia was owned Adobe and release Flash under the name Flash CS3 with ActionScript 3.0, which brought a new dimension in the applications of Flash. The vector graphic and editing abilities were enhanced by integrating Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Microsoft’s attempt to rival Flash: Silverlight

Also in the mid of 2007, Microsoft launched rival technology to Flash named as Silverlight under the codename of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). Earlier it was released as a video streaming plugin for browsers but later turned into a development tool with interactivity features and interfacing for .NET languages.

Although one should appreciate and applaud Microsoft’s idea of breaking flash’s market and monopoly. But it seems very much far as Flash is so much powerful that it pushed Real Player, QuickTime and other efficient movie files way behind.

Comparison of Features

Following is a comparison of features (up till today) with typical applications:

Yardstick

Silverlight

Flash

  • Windows and MacOS Support
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  • Linus Support
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  • Library for sounds, buttons and different graphics
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  • Sound Processing
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  • Smaller File size
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  • Scalable Full Screen Video
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  • Cheaper Media Server License
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  • Web Services Support
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  • Programming Language Support
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  • Ease of Debugging
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  • Fast Editing and Encoding
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By looking upon the above analysis, one concludes that Silverlight has some major drawbacks in UI, editing and creating of graphics but it has strong command over content development through programming languages. It will not take much time for Microsoft to beat Flash completely, and from a user’s perspective it will sure provide rich-content experience.

Personally, I’m more diverted towards Flash mainly because of its time in the market but using new and rival technologies is always fun. The best part of Silverlight is that it provides free web services from content upload, taking advantage of advance global network and content delivery network of Microsoft. Looking forward to how these giants compete and bring better solutions for us.

Image: Source




  • jadoon88

    You can get Silverlight on Linux support through Moonlight. Sound processing is not the silverlight thing, you can do it in the .NET so this means it is supported. Media Server License cost varies, it depends on your scale…for certain scenarios, Windows is cheaper or costs as same as Flash's.

    Silverlight is powered by .NET that is standard object oriented language where as Flash has a scripting language.

    Flash has Web Services support since Flash MX. (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/flmx…)

    About graphics: With Silverlight you can use power of GDI through .NET. And what do you mean by Library for sounds, buttons and different graphics? and scalable full screen video?

  • dotnetsky

    Your facts about both Flash and Silverlight are inaccurate.

  • Name

    invalid comparison. Flash has had webservice support for a LONG LONG time.
    Programming language support? really …. ever heard of FLEX! not to mention actionscript is now on version 3!

  • Name

    invalid comparison. Flash has had webservice support for a LONG LONG time.
    Programming language support? really …. ever heard of FLEX! not to mention actionscript is now on version 3!