Many Silverlight opportunities – a good problem to have?

Scott Guthrie mentioned is his recent video interview with Robert Scoble for PodTech, that having many Silverlight opportunities, is a good problem to have.

I’d like to briefly examine whether that’s really true with a few questions:
How many really differentiatable opportunities are there really?

  • Doing another YouTube but with Silverlight doesn’t seem like a viable opportunity
  • Perhaps doing casual gaming – which really requires original gaming to be exclusive to Silverlight for a while
  • There’s rich ebook or ecomic reading of course
  • And there’s widgets in general and the market that could be created for re-use in other sites
  • I wonder if Silverlight stuff will make it into Windows Sidebar gadgets
  • Perhaps Silverlight opportunities are more to do with spreading rather than original concepts or content

Are the ways to use the technology somewhat overwhelming?
With so many languages on offer, and many people still learning about WPF, there’s almost a mental breakdown with the excitement. It’s a technology without an application – without clear thinking it make be difficult to find a real value adding application, so perhaps it’s just easiest to go with something fun to begin with. I haven’t looked at the documentation yet, but I can tell you that some of the .NET 3.0 documentation had some really bad errors in it.

Is the technology available to even enable the opportunities?
In the interview Scott casually and repeatedly uses phrases like “we shipped”. Well actually Scott, you “announced” technologies, and you “delivered” alpha and beta bits, and you gave no timetable for for 1.1 – possibly because that would give away the launch timeframe for Visual Studio Orcas too. Even with go-live licenses, seriously stable and commercial ventures may struggle surface due to the fear on relying on Microsoft deliverables, especially up to a xmas season. So I wouldn’t call it a good problem, more of a frustrating one that makes it difficult to make business investment decisions around.

I’m saying that cool doesn’t necessarily equal good business opportunities, and even if it does, there’s an overwhelming scramble to pick a direction. Nevertheless, there are still cool things about the technology and my thoughts on the underlying Microsoft domination strategy (even if it’s a win-win for many).


2 thoughts on “Many Silverlight opportunities – a good problem to have?

  1. Yep. While building my simple Silverlight Pong Game, (a very simple one), the docs were not present at all(Object Browser was the only documentation!) and there are a lot of things half-baked(The Timer class has already been marked obsolete with the reason that it was too ‘unreliable’)

    But still, it’s coool, because I couldn’t think of me or my buddies doing that with Flash or AJAX. It’s half baked because we are inside the oven. We’ve gotta wait for 1.1 (and Orcas) to hit RTM…

    And, you’re damned right in that they didn’t ship anything 😀

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