Silverlight will be pervasive.
I was going to end the blog entry right there.
First, Silverlight will be built into Internet Explorer in the future. Second, I assume it will somehow not frighten people when the browser asks if it can download it. I suppose if the average person sees this request a few times when trying to access some video on a web page, especially on some big media site like CBSNews.com, even their initial caution will be worn down when they see the same request on several reputable web sites.
Rule number seven about Microsoft (you know rule number one is wait until the third version) is that any graphical program they make will be simple, inflexible, and somehow an uphill battle to get what you envision onto the computer screen. Adobe owns the graphics market.
I blogged earlier about Expression Web as a solid product. I used to use Adobe Dreamweaver, and Expression Web has all the nice layout features of that product. My favorite feature of Expression Web is that if you select some text or image on a page you're building, you'll see faint grid lines indicating the margins and padding (CSS settings) for that individual item, and you can adjust these settings just by dragging the grid lines up or down, left or right. (I'm several versions behind the latest version of Dreamweaver, so it may also have this.)
This feature will be part of the next version of Visual Studio for laying out ASP.NET pages.
But the real reason I think Silverlight will be a complete success is that for interactive Web applications where Flash has been king, it will offer all the power and ease of development of WPF. Again, I'm several steps behind the latest version, but I dabbled in Flash in the past. I created a Checkers game (you can try it out
: swipe through the player one or player two default names and type your own name).
But all the elegance of the .NET framework, and all the power of the tools to create it, will make Silverlight nearly effortless to add video, audio, and animation to a web page. It may also be simpler for retrieving, displaying or manipulating data, but just to be able to add those big three media will make Silverlight IMO an almost instant success.
I don't know whether major web sites will use this new Microsoft technology to deliver video. Flash video is pretty well entrenched, but there might be some advantages to going with Silverlight.
Whenever I visit a page with video, I look for a control on the player that allows it to be viewed full-screen. Lacking that, I double-click on the rectangular video area. [sometimes it's one square inch]
The ability to resize the player without degrading the video quality and make full-screen video easier to provide could be crucial advantages to Microsoft. And if the video quality is better and file size is smaller, all bets are off.
The jury is still out, but I guess it's time to revisit rule number seven.