Flash has for long been a dominant force in the web development and designing arena unperturbed by challenges thrown in by the occasional releases. The wake of HTML5 and Silverlight was a different story altogether. Flash is most likely fighting a losing battle especially against Silverlight, unless it overhauls some of its core features effectively. It is by virtue of the advanced mannerisms offered by Microsoft Silverlight that it is eating into the market share previously held by Flash.
SynapseIndia owner Shamit Khemka also adds that the release of Silverlight sparked the question of choosing between Flash and Silverlight. Designers and developers were split in their choices, given both the platforms hold considerable pedigree to their field of work. It is a common consensus that Silverlight incorporated a host of features which developers wanted to have in Flash.
With Flash’s reluctance in upgrading to user needs, Silverlight has filled the void effectively and thereby clinched a considerable market share. This discussion deals with the technical superiority of these platforms over the other and why Silverlight might have just edged Flash in some regards.
Silverlight vs Flash: Neck to Neck
Animation principles: flash necessarily uses frame-based model of animation. Sequential animation based on frame positioning is key in this approach. It des deal with detailed matrices of the time/sequence parameter. Flash player does not maintain a frame rate by default, but need manual integration.
Silverlight on the other hand employs the WPF animation model. The tie based principle enables one to define the start and end parameters before-hand. It is easier than Flash as the program fills in the frame positions by itself. It also cuts out the need of positioning objects in relation to frames- thus being time optimized!
SEO friendliness: In the current web development and designing spectrum SEO friendliness does play a key role in determining the effectiveness of a production. The shape definition fonts and inability to understand TTF is a major hindrance for Flash in the SEO space. Though off late search engines have started indexing the Flash embeds, it is not still optimally SEO friendly. Apart from Google, there is limited support for Flash indexing coming in from other search engines.
Silverlight employs XAML in user interface: While vector graphics and animations come into play the texts are treated as separate entity and deployed in web server. This approach makes searching and indexing of Silverlight components much easier.
Media streaming facility: Flash does not provide hosting support for content. This makes it harder to build a video website as it will require separate server accommodating- thereby being cost inclusive.
On the other hand Silverlight uses Microsoft’s own Silverlight streaming to deliver rich media effectively. Cross browser media can be easily hosted and circulated effectively on Windows and Mac computers. Interactive content development using Silverlight is much easier in Silverlight than in Flash.
To sum it all up CEO Shamit Khemka mentioned it is true to say that Silverlight does provide designers and developers with an effective edge over Flash. It is also imperative to say that in the present context of cross platform media applications Flash needs major upheaval to compete with Silverlight.