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A recent article in InfoWorld attempted to tie the current economic downturn directly to the future success of Silverlight 2.0 adoption. My opinion is that this argument is pretty flawed.
For starters, since the October 2008 launch of Silverlight 2.0 it has been installed on over 300 million consumer PCs (or one in four), mostly the result of major events such as the Beijing Olympics (upgrades from 1.0), the new Netflix Watch Instantly services, The Democratic National Convention, and the Presidential Inauguration on CBS. Montalbano’s argument that the adoption rate for Silverlight will be impacted by the cutback in corporate IT budgets makes little sense to me since most enterprise applications would not be the major driving factor for adoption.
Flash did not earn its near 100% adoption of its previous player, or its now 45% adoption of player 10 through corporate IT department projects. It earned it through browser bundling, advertising, YouTube, and online media focused on the consumer. Silverlight will continue to gain adoption just fine during this economic downturn, as people will want more entertainment at home and via the web.
In addition, my experience shows that as things quiet down in IT departments due to budget cuts, developers will begin to re-train and try out new technologies. This downturn might give some more Microsoft camp developers the time they need to train-up on Silverlight and try out some new ideas so they are ready for the next wave of projects.
I’ve been working with RDF Gateway from Intellidimension in our solution development for the last couple of years and today they dropped what I believe is a significant enhancement in performance to their already fantastic Semantics.Server solution for storing and retrieving RDF triples in SQL Server 2008. Also new in this release is an update to the SDK that provides an Entity framework on top of the existing SDK. The new Entity framework simplifies the way you work with business entities in your semantic applications. I’ll try to put a longer post together later that show how these technologies are used.
This is one of those truly amazing and cool products. A friend of mine has been working with the Wafian product team on some live event playback solutions, but I think this product is also equally cool. It is a 10 bit 4:4:4 High Definition Digital Disk Recorder that has 2 HD-SDI inputs and captures to a CineForm compressed Quicktime MOV file that actually contains the two independent streams of video. It can store 3D 1920X1080 24P at a mere 140 GB/hour. Amazing! Looking forward to seeing a lot more 3D productions in the future with my kids.
Last week Microsoft teamed up with the Presidential Inauguration Committee and CBS to stream the event live using Silverlight. The Channel9 team recently posted a nice video with Steven Woodard and Ben Waggoner discussing how it was done, and the historic last minute use of Moonlight (Silverlight for Linux) to provide an alternate experience for Linux users. Move Networks provided the video streams. You can check out the quality of this stream on Demand at CBS. Be sure to click the Watch HD link and install the Move Player.
A colleague of mine Twittered this wonderful overview article on the Semantic Web and the current initiatives that are under way. This article provides a nice overview of the past and present technologies that make up the Semantic web.
This is very exciting from my perspective, since my team has been working with Semantic Web technologies (RDF, OWL, SPARQL) for the last couple years to solve problems in the Digital Asset Management space.
I strongly believe that the use of open standards and ontologies is the correct approach to the ability to share and interop with metadata on the web and will lead to more connected media and consumer experiences in the future.