Over at UXB, Shane Morris is trying to convince us there’s really no competition between Flash and Silverlight (along with no competition between the Expression toolset and similar Adobe products). I’ve had a couple of short conversations with Shane recently about where and how Expression and WPF are going to impact the incumbent toolsets – Flash, Flex, Dreamweaver and other Adobe design tools (not to mention Eclipse) and I’m not convinced by his arguments that they can all play nice together.
Shane’s a super-smart guy – incredibly likeable and with few peers in the user experience space – but it’s his job as a Microsoft representative to ensure that as many people are introduced to the new Microsoft tools in as non-challenging, friendly way as possible. With the Age of User Experience sessions running at the moment, a major part of his job is to introduce Australian developers to Expression and WPF.
Sadly for Shane and his bosses, his arguments seem redundant in the face of Sean Corfield’s most recent post.
As a former senior Adobe staffer and ColdFusion guru, Sean holds major league sway in the Adobe tool using developer community. Given the pretty awful experience he’s just had trying to get Silverlight to work on his Mac, this group is going to be even less likely than ever to look at Expression and WPF.
To confirm Sean’s findings, I tried to repeat his experience on my MacBook Pro. I followed the instructions and did exactly what the Microsoft site told me to do. Apparent success in installation. But, as with Sean’s experience, no seamless redirection back to the Silverlight home page. You have to try to intuit what Microsoft expect you to do, given you’ve moved past the installation instructions…
Now, here’s the doozy – my experience was worse than Sean’s! Every time I try to go to the Silverlight home page to check out this cutting edge new technology, Firefox crashes without warning, and I can’t even check out how cutting edge and “check that out” Silverlight is… UPDATE – I can now view the sample apps without Firefox crashing. That said, like Sean, I see no video in the top of the page. Also, and this is opinion so take it with a grain of salt, the demos show me nothing Flash hasn’t done in spades for years.
For Shane’s sake, I really hope Microsoft get their act together and make this both seamless and error-free, because at the moment, getting Silverlight happening on OS X is:
- an unmitigated usability disaster.