Flash/Flex vs Silverlight...

I was cleaning up my inbox earlier today and came across this awesome slide that highlights the key benefits and differences between Silverlight and Flash/Flex model. I just finished the Adobe 360 Flex conference in Seattle yesterday and this slide helps me understand both the platforms much better. A quick search on the web also points me to Michael Schawarz's blog which has a more detailed slide and a very active discussion. None the less, I thought this would serve as a good slide as I talk about Silverlight in my events this quarter.

Features/Benefits Silverlight .NET Flash/Flex
Rich 2D animation/graphics with audio and video yes yes yes
Industry standard video codec yes yes no 
Scalable video format from HD to mobile yes yes no 
Hardware-assisted editing and encoding solutions yes yes no 
XML (XAML)-based presentation layer for SEO yes no  no 
Choice of standards-based and high-performance languages yes yes no 
End-to-end server and application platform yes yes no 
Media server licensing (unlimited bandwidth) $999 $999 $4500
Content access protection (DRM) yes yes no 
Client side playlists for ad-insertion yes yes yes
Robust video publishing tools and third-party ecosystem yes yes no 
High-performance, multi-core enabled client yes yes no 
Scalable full screen video up to HD (720p) yes yes no 
Native support for device-based video yes yes no
Offline, document support no  yes no
Data Exchange with Web Server (Ajax, Web Service) yes yes yes
Encrypted Content no yes no 
Binary or Text Format text 1 binary binary
Easy Installation Support for Platform Requirements yes  no yes 
Tools yes (Beta/CTP)  yes yes 
3D Support no yes no
3rd Party Controls yes 2 yes yes
Client size ~2MB ~50MB ~2MB
Supported operating systems Windows/Mac3 Windows4 Windows/MacLinuxMobile (light) 5

1 maybe will be changed later; currently you could GZIP the content to reduce size of XAML code
2 using wpfeControl.createFromXaml(xamlstring);
3 Windows Vista and Windows XP Service Pack 2, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Windows Internet Explorer 7, Firefox and 2.0.x; Apple Mac OS X, Firefox and 2.0.x, Apple Safari 2.0.4
4 .NET 2.0: Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista; .NET 3.0: Windows Vista and Windows XP Service Pack 2; Internet Explorer 6, Windows Internet Explorer 7.
5 Flash Player 8: Windows Vista and Windows XP; Internet Explorer 6 and Windows Internet Explorer 7; Windows 2000 with Internet Explorer 5.x; Firefox 1.x, Mozilla 1.x, Netscape 7.x or later, AOL 9, Opera 7.11 or later; Mac OS X, Internet Explorer 5.2, Mozilla 1.x, Firefox 1.x, Safari 1.x or later.


Go on, Light on the web with more confidence!


While you are at it, also read the article '10 Things You Should Know About Microsoft's Silverlight' published in Computer World. Here's a succinct compile of the 10 things that the article talks about...


1. Silverlight Avoids Cross-Browser/OS Issues

2. Silverlight 1.1 Is the Real Story

3. Silverlight Uses Technologies Your Developers Already Know

4. Silverlight UI Is just Markup -- Like HTML

5. Silverlight and AJAX Technologies Are Complementary

6. Silverlight Allows Developers and Designers to Work Together

7. Silverlight Deliverables Are Not Atomic

8. Silverlight Is New

9. Silverlight XAML versus WPF XAML

10. Silverlight Is a Great Way to Learn XAML

-Mithun Dhar

Technorati tags: Silverlight, FLash, Flex, .Net, Compare