PDC happened and Microsoft fouled up the Silverlight message big time. The talk was that Silverlight is dead on the client, based on Steve Ballmer not mentioning Silverlight, and an interview with Bob Muglia published at Mary-Jo’s blog. Actually even we got irritated emails from our own customers, whom we had just convinced that Silverlight is the right choice for RIA applications.
It took some time for Microsoft to realize what fatal message they had sent, but eventually Muglia backpedaled, and from there one it seems that every other Microsoftie and close associate came out to deny the imminent death of Silverlight. So far I’ve stumbled over:
Among the non-Microsofties where
So, just for the record: I sincerely believe that Microsoft is still very much committed to Silverlight as RIA technology for regular (read non-WP7) clients.
Still, as relieved as I am that this mess unfolded that way, it kept me thinking. What if? I mean, what if Microsoft actually had dropped Silverlight on the client…?
Just imagine… What would happen if Microsoft actually had changed their strategy? What if Silverlight was really dead on the client, and “only” the development platform for WP7?
But from there it would go downhill, and Microsoft would start losing…
Ultimately Microsoft could lose… Microsoft. Because at the end of the day, credibility is the most important thing. That’s what made this whole thing a marketing fiasco. Not the fact that a bunch of developers and companies sat on the wrong bandwagon. Lose credibility and you lose the company.
Now, all this is hypothetical – I hope I made that clear with my statement above. And it is also just an opinion and certainly exaggerated in some points. But it may very well be the kind of trash and FUD that Microsoft will be experiencing for some time. Which is why I believe that Microsoft will continue to have to do damage control for quite some time to come.