Silverlight, Chrome, and the iPhone

First, a quick thanks to those who made it out to the final stop on this edition of the Northeast Roadshow in Waltham today.  I'm pulling together my materials and will post a blog entry in a day or two with links to the resources and slides.  Now the reason for this post...

During our discussion today of user experience in smart client and browser-based applications, the topic of Silverlight support in Google Chrome and the Apple iPhone came up, and it's been nagging at me ever since - especially since I didn't see mention of either in the internal launch mailings or public announcements.  I've been a bit behind in my blog reading (yeah, like that's something new...), so just this evening caught up with Mary-Jo Foley's blog post "Silverlight 2: Google Chrome support, yes; iPhone, no".  I suspect this or other coverage of Scott Guthrie's press/analyst call on Monday is what was driving that part of our discussion today.

After reading her post and checking with the Silverlight folks internally, the title of the post strikes me as a bit misleading (though there is some clarification within the article).  Here's why:

  • That Silverlight 2 works with the latest Google Chrome beta is, well, serendipitous.  Note how Scott Guthrie's statement was "Google's Chrome browser for Windows now supports Silverlight 2", not the other way around?  It's subtle, but essentially Google is "doing the work" here in its best interest.  On the Microsoft side, we aren't (as of yet) saying we support Chrome, which is why you don't see it listed amongst the other browsers (IE, Safari, and Firefox) when they are called out.
  • In terms of the iPhone support, a cursory glance of the post's title might imply Microsoft is not interested, whereas the reverse is really the case.  Apple hasn't opened up the iPhone's API to the extent that Silverlight could run on the iPhone:

"Guthrie said that if Apple decides to enable browser plug-ins from third-party vendors like Microsoft, Microsoft would be interested in adding Silverlight support for the iPhone."

Wow, talk about the shoe being on the other foot here; who's closed and who's open now?