Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Next Net Battle - Adobe vs Microsoft

This post has been sitting in my moleskine for sometime fermenting and I figure since I just missed the boat from the A-List coverage of MIX early in the week I may as put it out there. These notes go back to my post in October 2006 called “Why Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are NOT Competing“. Since then I have been thinking over the ever changing paradigm of technology as a business and how these major companies are competing. With the releases of Adobe’s Apollo and Microsoft’s Silverlight (back then it was called WPF/E), it struck me: the next battle will be between Adobe and Microsoft.

I stand by my conclusions of my aforementioned posts - even if you comeback with Google Office competing with Microsoft’s traditional cash cow - MS Office. No, there is not competition between these products. Both are and will serve different audiences. Will Google Office cannabalize some of Microsoft’s Office Revenue? Yes. Will it be enough to affect the bottom line? No.

That being said, why Adobe vs Microsoft? And furthermore, why do I think Microsoft will win?

As the next generations of the web are being developed on the basis of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and Software as a Service models with the addition of varying, diverse media types such as audio, video and text - the company who can best embrace and enable this will become victorious.

If you envision the entire life cycle of a web application or an RIA it starts at conception and design, followed by development and deployment. Now as this workflow has progressed and been perfected over the years so have the tools…

Photoshop -> Dreamweaver -> Flex -> Flash -> Apollo

Expression Studio -> Visual Studio -> ASP.Net -> Silverlight

Both companies are coming close to perfecting the workflow from concept to implementation. Granted you are not controlling the information like Google - but do control how its designed, developed, deployed, and what platform it will run on. The key for these to companies is platform - which will be provide the platform for the next generation of web development?

So why will Microsoft win? Easy. ASP.Net is far, far, far, far superior to Flex. Silverlight will trump flash - I don’t care about the numbers of people with flash already installed either. Silverlight will come prepackaged in Vista and in five years those numbers will mean nothing. Also the release of Silverlight has given power to the millions of .NET developers out there to create rich, engaging applications with the same ease as they are used to.

Oh and don’t forget about the inherent compatibility with the infrastructure that an .NET application lies on (WPF, Windows Server, SQL Server).

Some people agree with me… Scoble says Microsoft may have just “rebooted the web”. Mike Arrington says Silverlight Is Important.

More on the battle in upcoming posts, as well as much more on Silverlight. Also upcoming - why Astoria will be amazing and the Web 3.0 platform; and why Jasper will show the Rails crowd that we can do it too - only better, more scalable, and faster. And naturally more analysis from the rest of the great stuff that came from MIX07.

It’s safe to say this is a great time to be a Microsoft Web Developer.

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Jake Boden said...

There is one very powerful thing that Adobe has that Microsoft does not have an effective competitive product. The PDF file format is something that Microsoft can not do at this time. Also as good as some of the stuff coming out from Microsoft is they are not yet ready to provide real compition to Photoshop. As long as Adobe has Photoshop and Acrobat they will be hard to compete with.

Fred said...

I think Microsoft is able to create better development tools than Adobe.
Flash though successfull should have attracted more developers.
But it did not.
Flex is great but I think the all package [C#/VB/.NET2.0/3.0, Visual Studio XXXX, ExpressionBlend and silverlight] will be difficult to beat.

We (InCisif Software) will look in the next months to add silverlight support to our functional web testing tool

I tried more than once in the past with flash but Adobe does not make thing easy for developers.

Hopefully Microsoft did.

Frederic Torres
Web Testing with C# or VB.NET

abrudtkuhl said...

Dont really like that you republished my article. Next time try a blurb and a link back.