Interview with Scott Barnes about Silverlight 3

Scott Barnes, MicrosoftThose of you that follow me on Twitter will no doubt have been witness to some interesting (and sometimes tedious) discussions between myself, other Flash Platform enthusiasts and Scott Barnes of Microsoft. Scott was an ardent supporter of Flex before his move to Microsoft which makes his perspective all the more interesting.

Thought it was worth asking him to answer a few questions about the latest Silverlight developments. As you might imagine I don’t fully agree and sometimes strongly disagree with some of the points he makes, but its an interesting read nonetheless.

Thanks for your time Scott, can you introduce yourself and explain a little about your role at Microsoft?
Sure. I’m a Rich Platforms Product Manager, which is a great title to confuse many with. I’m simply part of the WPF & Silverlight team. I used to be the first RIA Evangelist for Microsoft, so it does in part derive from this previous role.

My role varies from month to month as simply due to my background, and I have a wide degree of interaction with not just the WPF & Silverlight teams but other teams within Microsoft. Overall, my main focus is ensuring we’re putting the right features into Silverlight & WPF whilst ensuring we keep a balanced view between designer and developer needs. I’m currently focused on a complete upgrade of our website experiences.

I also spend a great deal of time monitoring and interacting the online/offline developer and designer communities, as I’m constantly searching for evidence on how we can better meet our customers’ needs.

We’ve seen some exciting announcements around Silverlight 3 at MIX09, can you list us some of your favorite new features

Easy. Out of browser, Pixel Shaders & Effects.

Out of browser
This for me is one of the more interesting features we announced. It’s essentially a new canvas to paint from, and that startup entrepreneur in me has sparked a new level of interest in how far one can go with this concept.

I’ve listened to a lot of ideas on how this will change customers’ business directions and—more to the point—how it will impact the concept of what we know as RIAs today. Now comes a new wave of interest in Silverlight which in turn will grow our developer/designer audience further; thus new creations will be born. That ultimately is the proving ground for why this feature will be so compelling. Best part is, no additional installs are required.

I like to think that if you take this new feature and combine it with our recent addition to C# called LINQ (Language Integrated Query), you’ve also got what I foresee as starting a great essential offline storage story. LINQ is an addition to C# and enables developers to write SQL-like syntax against any data; whether they be lists, dictionaries or even object properties. The idea behind this came from one of my personal geek heroes, Anders Hejlsberg, Chief Architect of C# and one of the founding architects of Borland Delphi (My first Windows based GUI language/tool of choice) – currently a Technical Fellow at Microsoft.

Pixel Shaders & Effects
When I first joined the Silverlight team, the first thing I investigated was why we didn’t have drop shadow and blur baked into the runtime. Turns out this entire concept has been sitting in the to-do pile since 2007, so for me it was great to see this finally come out. I’m excited to see that folks who previously put Silverlight in the “not ready” pile have, in the last week or so, asked me to hook them up with tooling so they can get started. For me, this tells me we’re on the right track.

I think pixel shaders and effects—and other features like 3D and ClearType—will signal to the design audience how serious we are about enabling better design with our platforms, whilst at the same time continuing to help them work more closely with developers.

“With great power, comes great responsibility” however: please Silverlighters, let’s avoid propagating the dreaded water ripple effect from the old Java Applet days…It’s in the anti-design pattern catalogue now. 😉

What direction do you see Silverlight going, is further mobile and devices support on the roadmap? With Silverlight announced to be getting ported to S60 devices, can you imagine it ever coming to lets say Apple’s iPhone?
Absolutely—we’ve shown Silverlight running on mobile devices in the past and we’re excited about this growth area for Silverlight. Even better, I know the development teams in the Silverlight runtime have worked extremely hard to ensure that we don’t differ in development experience from desktop to device, so that for me is signs of a healthy future. That, and I’ve seen Silverlight run on my old Black Jack II using Windows Mobile personally..

But sorry, no inside gossip from me on this one beyond that J

How should we see Silverlight Out of Browser? Is this simply a feature to bring Silverlight web applications to the desktop for basic offline use or should we expect it to get a full API stack and become more like what we see with Adobe AIR?
I’ll answer that question in two parts, first being the Adobe AIR & Silverlight comparisons.

It’s funny; I’ve read a few posts already debating how Silverlight and Adobe AIR compare. Having been a part of some of the early out of browser discussions here, it’s funny to me because the actual DNA for this feature derived from Smart Client wish lists (2002 – No Touch Deployment).

This is important to remember, as Microsoft had both the Smart Client strategy and also the WPF (XBF) years before Apollo / Adobe AIR came to market (I remember asking Macromedia/Adobe staffers if it was copy back then before I joined Microsoft), so it’s not really a “me too” feature. Instead it’s a lot of the old coming through to the new and sure, we’re not ignorant of Adobe AIR presence, but we simply feel the two are flowing on separate trajectories.

Second answer to your question is more on expectations of Silverlight Out of browser.

Out of browser is really focused on ensuring Silverlight experiences don’t lose momentum the moment the network cable is disconnected and that ultimately is the real secret here. Microsoft has learned a lot of lessons over the years regarding security and we think that you have to be very careful when mixing the metaphors of web and desktop apps. Anything less and you’re asking for trouble. Silverlight applications running out of the browser are still web RIAs and have the same type of safe sandbox. A Silverlight app isn’t going to wipe your desktop clean or allow someone to create an invisible window over your desktop and intercept your passwords. We are extremely cautious with our sandbox and will continue to open up areas of the feature where it suits customer needs the most whilst ensuring we protect the end users.

For a more robust, tightly integrated desktop application, you’re in luck—WPF is a much better fit for your needs. WPF has a much deeper continuum to Silverlight and the best part is you’re able to re-use a lot of your skills and assets inside WPF, something I think no other solution on the market today provides. I mentioned earlier LINQ and how great it is; well one thing I’ve found is that you can use LINQ universally across both platforms whilst at the same time having a natural amount of extra native access within WPF.

You yourself have come from a Flash/Flex background yourself, do you see Silverlight as a competing technology across the board or do they each have their own use case? Are there cases where you would recommend Flash Platform solutions over Silverlight?
It’s going to sound silly, but I honestly don’t think Flex & Silverlight compete with one another full on. The reason I say this is that folks in the Microsoft customer base didn’t adopt Flex prior to Silverlight and last time we checked, haven’t since. I’m also not seeing a dramatic increase in Flex developers since I left that community, but have seen an explosion of developers (4:1 ratio on Flex) in the Silverlight community – especially since it started from 0 only a couple of years ago.

I mention this as I personally think, having worked in both spaces, that Flex requires more effort to pitch into the enterprise than a native .NET solution; given Microsoft already has healthy growth there – and I’m speaking from experience here, as I’ve sold Flex back when it was 15k per CPU. Instead, it’s really about ready-made solutions vs. starting from scratch, and I’m not convinced the two products will be isolated as being a choice. Companies, given the current economic climate, are more focused on choosing a platform rather than a runtime with a framework. To compare Silverlight with just Flex doesn’t do either products justice, instead it’s really about Microsoft .NET vs Adobe Open Screen Project.

I mostly get comparison questions between Adobe and Microsoft from developers themselves or folks looking to prove some point. I never get these questions when it comes to large accounts or customers in general: To them it’s both runtimes are simply just a bullet point in the overall discussion, as they are more focused on how they can build an entire solution end to end, servers, tools, etc. all play a role. Not majority of the time which runtime has the better feature matrix?

The only time I would concede Flash over Silverlight is when we simply don’t have an offering that fits. This can vary in discussion, sometimes it’s a case of the person in front of me has already heavily invested in Adobe technology or they’ve asked specifically for a feature that we don’t have, resulting in their product evolution becoming brain-dead without the said feature.

In the early days the feature vs. feature discussions were hard ( I hated every minute of it), I will admit, but today, I’m finding it easy given I think we’ve got not only parity with Flash in terms of core features and a differentiated offering and a great deal to offer our customers.

In closing Pete, I honestly think both Microsoft and Adobe are solving similar problems but with a different set of tools, and so we are both just going to co-exist. I don’t think you have to be one or the other and companies like Cynergy Systems for example get this, where they are being successful on both platforms.



38 thoughts on “Interview with Scott Barnes about Silverlight 3

  1. Kristof says:

    “I like to think that if you take this new feature and combine it with our recent addition to C# called LINQ ”

    Hello, Scott. Did you forget that MS already ditched LINQ again? No more support? Ever? Mainly because it supported, what, all of 2 different databases brands? Why do you go on about how great Link is when MS ditched Link like a hot handle?

    Also, building Silverlight upon WPF is asking for a mono-os software. Then again, Silverlight isn’t really connected with WPF, they just share a few hooks and crannies. Another something Microsoft lies about.

    I think MS should choose a really different angle instead of turning the world upside down and then claim they have a different angle.

    They did the same with UML. They loved UML until IBM became an important player and then they ditched UML. They came up with their own system which was just the same as UML – only they explained it differently.

  2. Lixin says:


    1. MS already ditched LINQ again? You are so unprofessional

    2. Most people who choose WPF applications are professional people. They don’t care what OS they are using. They only care the applications are good and easy to use and really help them make money. Don’t think about AIR in that case, AIR is only an extension of web technologies with a light weight database and it just doesn’t meet the requirement here.

    In conclusion, you are not experienced and professional enough to discuss these topics.

  3. Samiq says:


    Sames as @Lixin say… go do ur homework and learn about stuff with enough conscious as to un-der-stand what u r trying to talk about.

    Then if u have no time, then don’t even bother coming up with this fanboy talking.

    @peterelst and @mossyblog cool interview guys 😉

  4. Simon Holly says:

    Out of Browser = copy of AIR.
    Pixel Shaders, Effects = copy of Flash Shaders and Filters.
    Mobile, well JME has been there for years, as has FlashLite.
    If Adobe announced that Flex 4 will interface with your lawnmower you can bet Silverlight 3 will have MS-LawnLINQ ™ as a unique selling point.
    Anders Hejlsberg is the guy responsible for cloning Java to produce J++, and thence C#, another Microsoft copy-paste job. He’s a technically competent guy but hardly a visionary – Microsoft doesn’t produce visionaries, its not in their culture.

    Unfortunately these competing technologies don’t happily coexist, I’ve already experienced career issues due to companies selecting Silverlight over Flex due to their internal .Net/MS bias; one was using Silverlight where any other web dev company would have selected Flex, the resulting app didn’t perform well, but Microsoft were funding the project to get the Silverlight profile up. It is this underhand funding of Silverlight projects by MS to make it look like everyone is doing Silverlight development, and the fact it is a blatant copy and not an innovation that gets peoples’ backs up. Microsoft, when are you going to actually produce an innovative product? When are you going to stop skewing the marketplace by funding projects to ensure your technologies are chosen over competitors?? The fact that MS needs Silverlight Evangelists rather than allow the developer community to choose and adopt the best tool speaks volumes.

  5. some one says:

    LINQ to SQl or DLINQ is what was dropped and replaced with EE. LINQ was not dropped which is generic and not tied to a DB. We now have LINQ/EE. or there is LINQ with ojbects like a List().

  6. The misinformation on this site is hilarious.

    @Kristof LINQ is not dead…u probably got it mixed up with LINQ To SQL. I am guessing you are not a Microsoft developer or have your information confused.


    OOTB support is a copy of Adobe AIR? How quickly do we forget ClickOnce deployment in WPF which was out years before Adobe AIR. Please.

    “Pixel Shaders, Effects = copy of Flash Shaders and Filters.”

    Are you serious? Your going to tell me an organization like Microsoft which owns DirectX technology and has the XBOX franchise is “copying” Adobe here? LOL. Please.

    I can tell you a couple things that Microsoft is already integrating with. Their enterprise collaboration platform called SharePoint. I am sure Adobe will “copy” that, right? Silverlight is integrated with Micrsoft Visual Earth in a control and will be getting full .NET API support. Adobe “copying” anyone here? Silverlight is also coming out on Windows Mobile 7…where is Adobe’s Mobile platform, oh that’s right it doesn’t EXIST.

    Lets face the facts. Silverlight allows .NET developers to develop in a language they already know that supports first class features like mulithreading (which Flash/Flex do not have). Furthermore, just like .NET in 2002 it will be integrated in a ton of Microsoft products up and down..whether it be Business Intelligence, Reporting, Office etc. Adobe can’t do much more than integrate with their Graphics Suite and are largely dependant on 3rd parties to distribute their product. For example, you really think “technical challenges” are holding up Flash on the iPhone??? Adobe “needs” the support…Microsoft has simply just started to throw Silverlight across their product horizontals.

  7. Kristof says:

    I should have known better than to write in a thread that was destined to attract the MS fanbase.

    @LIXIN: People choosing WPF are choosing Windows. It’s like saying that people that choose diesel (gasoil) cars are independent of fuel-type. The choice of WPF itself is a choice for an OS.

    @Samiq: thanks for the tip …

  8. “I should have known better than to write in a thread that was destined to attract the MS fanbase.”

    You posted blantantly wrong information about LINQ. Your recourse should have been to apologize for your mistake and not insult people when they can speak better to the subject than obviously you can.

  9. Peter says:

    Seriously people, I’d appreciate if you can keep things polite and constructive —

    I asked Scott to answer some questions about Silverlight to get his perspective for my blog audience which is typically Flash/Flex/AIR developers.

    What I’ve seen so far in terms of feedback is generally quite arrogant and dismissive on either side. Its easy to get locked into a “who’s copying who” discussion but in the end it is of little relevancy.

    Comments like what I’m seeing here from Microsoft enthusiasts (welcome to my blog!) will in my opinion do little to entice Flash Platform developers to give Silverlight a try — which is a shame.

    I strongly believe that more competition in the RIA technology market will drive innovation and that is a good thing for all of us.

  10. @Pete,

    I agree with you completely. However, you have NO IDEA how much it infuriates me when I see misinformation being passed around.

    Flash developers are in their own world…no offense unless you are really good all around and u know .NET really well. You should not be making comments about pixel shaders, LINQ, DirectX on who “copied” them first.

    I call it the “Puff Daddy Syndrome”. Puff Daddy comes out with a rehash of an 80s beat and the lamans think he pioneered it. Same applies to Windows leveraging Xerox technology. Apple iPhone doing what Macromedia did several years ago etc.

  11. Alan says:

    I don’t care if Microsoft pays firms to host their apps, they have a product and they want to get it out there.

    I don’t care who did what technology first, it’s who does it cheeper & easier.

    i DO care that Silverlight and it’s development tools either don’t exist or have limited support for operating systems other than Windows. This, to me, shows that Microsoft is either being arrogant or incompetent.

    I will not develop for Silverlight until Microsoft can assure me it wants to further the web experience, NOT further the Windows OS.

  12. Brad Becker says:

    check out Microsoft has worked with them to support non-Windows development of Silverlight through Eclipse. On the designer side, you can still use Photoshop and Illustrator for graphic design work with Blend 3’s new importers.

    Hope that helps.

    Brad Becker

  13. Peter says:

    Thanks for posting that Brad — I’ve been trying to get Eclipse4SL installed but unfortunately ran into some issues with dependencies that needed to be installed and I couldn’t track down.

    Will try to get it working some time soon because that does look promising.

    When it comes to Photoshop and Illustrator import — is there anything like Blend available for Mac? That is the tricky bit, while supporting those formats is excellent if there isn’t a cross platform solution its not an ideal workflow for creatives who typically have a much higher percentage of Mac users.

  14. Alan says:


    Whoa, that is great news. I’ve never heard of this, and I keep my ears open. Perhaps more effort can be put into promoting / improving it. But can I develop a Silverlight app only with this? Do I still need to have access to Blend? For example, with Flex, I can embed art into the application without needing any Adobe tools at all.

    Right now, I can build Flex apps without being tied to any one app or OS ( although Flex Builder, Flash Authoring, After Effects, Catalyst and FDT help a ton ). If I was on a team to develop a Silverlight app, would there have to be someone on a Windows box using Blend? In my experience, teams generally at least use the same OS.

    I know it’s small and the minority, but I see being OS agnostic as a symbol of trying to be apart of something bigger. While Adobe’s products are not completely even across all OSs, it can be argued that they are at least putting forth a solid effort.

    Thanks again for the info Brad.

  15. Scott Barnes says:

    Ummm what a thread 🙂 heh.. sorry Pete! 🙂

    RE: Blend on Mac.
    We’ve put together a SKU called the “Expression Professional Subscription” which has all the pieces you would need to at the very least either bootcamp or VM your way into the Silverlight workflow via Blend.

    It has Expression® Studio, Visual Studio® Standard, Office Standard, Office Visio® Professional, Windows® XP,Windows Vista® Business Edition, Virtual PC, Parallels Desktop for Mac & a Pre-configured virtualized server environment

    So we’re making progress in ensuring the Mac audience can be part of the discussion. Now with Eclipse even more investment in Non-Microsoft platforms. So we’re getting there! 🙂

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  16. Peter says:

    Great, that’s definitely a step in the right direction Scott — while it would’ve been more convenient to have a native Mac solution that looks like the next best thing. Congrats on addressing those concerns!

  17. Good idea for an article Peter – it’s a very interesting look at Silverlight from a Flex point of view.

    So many developers are already polarised as either .NET or Flash; the latter of which really has a bad rap in the dev world for a being a designer tool for oh-so-many years.

    The only point I take issue with is the use of stats to argue a point. I think both MS and Adobe have been guilty of this recently.

  18. Very nice and neat interview,most of the common questions are answered, When do we expect Silverlight on Mobile in reality?..I mean Tools and SDK, Also for LOB apps, any idea about integration of Reporting services in future,Integration with Workflow etc. (Sorry if my comment is away from topic 🙂 )

  19. Kristof says:

    @Bart Czernicki

    Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I did indeed get those mixed up. I am a MS developer, but of the Olden Days. I never did too much C#/.NET development.

    @Scott: Didn’t know that! That’s good news. Now for a native Mac solution and we’re all set.

  20. Tink says:

    “I’m also not seeing a dramatic increase in Flex developers since I left that community”

    That just can’t be true right? I too like Peter and interested in all these technologies, but the constant put downs and petty arguments aimed at competitors really get in the way of the info.

    As far as I’m aware, very few of use were playing with Flex when Scott left, and there is now a huge Flex market, and conferences/user groups specifically catering for it.

  21. Scott Barnes says:

    Probably a red herring i casually threw out into the void, I guess in my defense, I’ve seen a lot of folks come and go with Flex, usually it was a 6month honeymoon and then they’d just drop off the radar completely. Take FlexCoders, it’s been fluctuating at around average 10,000 members for quite some time (when I left it was spiked at 10,000 but later dropped) and it’s arguably the main source for troubleshooting still to this day? It’s now at around 11k, that’s approx 2k growth in a year (as I last checked it and it was 9k last year in May 2008). Silverlight.NET forums has gone from 0 to 50,000+ in the last 2 years (contributing members not silent/lurking members).

    @Vikram Pendse
    We’ve got a number of high-end reporting options we’re exploring at the moment. We wanted to go deep on it in SL3, but we halted that in lieu of some alternative options that we think are worth the wait.

    @Justin J. Moses
    Agreed. In time it will slowly drop off as being a debate point, as in the end we’ve got constant strong growth and in the 2 years we’ve been on the market we’ve achieved things that no other plugin has done in such a short amount of time. I call it “waiting out the storm” at the moment and it’s frustrating 🙂

    Thanks Pete! 🙂

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  22. @scottbarnes
    Even though you and I generally dislike each other I agree with several points. 😉

    – LINQ is truly amazing, having recently picked it up as part of my c# arsenal.
    – Silverlight vs Flash isn’t a big discussion with the large enterprises. The majority of the time I’m asked for Flash, not which will serve best. They do have investments in a technology “set” so want what works in that arena.

    Of course I disagree with you on the Flex developer numbers. Who cares if a mailing list is stuck at 10k? I dropped flexcoders YEARS ago. That is a terrible benchmark for how well Flex “marketing” is working in the developer community.

    Also remember Silverlight is piggy-backing off already available .NET developer numbers, which is staggering. Flex is piggy-backing off…ummm…Flash which until v6 (being generous but really v8) didn’t have a “capable” developer story. I think it isn’t apples to apples and never will be with so many .NET offerings (wpf, pure console app developers, DLR developers (folks in other languages on .net platform), etc, etc, etc.

    But…all in all you weren’t a fanboy like I thought the article would read. 🙂 Great stuff and great job @peter.

    BTW, @scottbarnes, when I pinged you about having the “conversation” it was a joke. Your response seemed to take it otherwise. 😉


  23. (just posting so I can check the notify me box) 🙂

  24. Scott Barnes says:

    @John C. Bland II
    I’m confused. It appears you just agreed or confirmed my point around growth. On one hand you want to disregard the mailing list benchmark but instead opt for a much reduced audience found within the Flash developer base. Seems to underpin my point or did I miss something 🙂

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  25. No…you misunderstand. Let me clarify.

    1) Silverlight has the benefit of N million .NET developers. So numbers will always be skewed, IMO. Without Silverlight having a VAST base of developers already at hand the numbers could be compared. For instance, if Silverlight was to WPF developers only the base is much smaller than .NET as a whole.
    2) Flash didn’t have a great developer story. You were there…no need to run down the history. So the number of application developers in Flash was slim when Flex really hit the scene, which I consider v2, which means the pool to say “we have N developers” was basically a grass roots effort.

    So the point really is to compare new Flash/Flex developers vs new Silverlight developers. By new I mean people not involved in either background. For instance, a Java developer picking up Flex or Silverlight.

    If you don’t I believe all numbers are terribly skewed.

    Scott, post a poll to your blog and see how many Silverlight developers are new to the MSFT/.NET world, some experience in the “world”, and die-hard .NET’ers.

    Peter, post a poll here to the same extent but for Flex.

    I know this wouldn’t be official or anything but could help you see what @tink means by “conferences/user groups specifically catering for it” and what I mean by SL having a ginormous base (compared to Flash) before it event came out of the diaper. 😉

  26. Scott Barnes says:

    @John C. Bland II

    *groan*.. your assumption that developers come from a virgin state of play isn’t realistic. Irrespective if they are virgin or not, the numbers will still stack in .NET’s favor based off your equation. As to assume that these folks accidentally trip there way into either platform without influence is somewhat naive. If there are more .NET devs/designers in the industry than these in turn will influence much stronger than non-.NET devs/designers.

    Furthermore, putting a poll on my blog is somewhat skewed data as well, given that most whom would follow my blog are post-solicitation and same with Pete’s most likely. There other assumption here is that new adopter’s want to participate in such a poll?

    As I said to go look up Hierarchical linear modeling and when you finish there and have made your way towards Multilevel modeling come back. Straw-man polls are great and can be used as guesstimates but I’ve made my opinion on growth in Flex community based off personal experience, industry trending, vendor sats and lastly publicly accessible membership data.

    All I have seen in the industry in Flex is a significant increase in Job Demand in Flex, but haven’t seen much in the way of back filling this demand (Supply vs Demand). I saw the same patterns emerge when I was in Coldfusion as well, High Demand, Low Supply resulting in a reduced market share of Coldfusion – which please don’t take this as Microsoftee throwing CF under a bus, as I still love that language, just disappoints me is all.

    I still fail to see your logic or evidence to counter-act my point?

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  27. Nah…not naive at all and not saying they all “trip their way into” Fl or SL. I’m purely saying there is a slant in the .NET side, as you agree I believe, so you can’t compare 100 new SL developers against 100 new Flex developers. Where did they come from? (rhetorical)

    Basically your 4:1 ratio is wrong if you’re comparing apples to apples. That’s all I’m saying. lol.

    The poll wasn’t an assumption that new adopter’s want to take it and it 100% was not for accurate stats (I even stated that). You confirm it would be a “guesstimates” as I said they aren’t “official numbers”.

    I’m not slow or ignorant to the stats or modeling.

    Regardless of approach or arguments you state you haven’t seen Flex growth compared to Silverlight. Even though you do stay close to the details, you’re not in the community and in the know as you are with Silverlight so of course you’ll think SL is growing so much more.

    Also stating Silverlight did not start at 0, IMO. .NET was there and the language to write SL was there (XAML, Javascript, and DLR’s) so Silverlight never had a 0 point. Don’t take that as a knock. I’ve stood behind SL being a great story due to the DLR, etc.

    Not a fanboy for Flex here either…just seeing holes in the “growth” statements.

  28. Scott Barnes says:

    @John C. Bland II
    Take a step back, listen to what you’re arguing. “It’s not fair, .NET pre-existed so the uptake in SL doesn’t count” ..umm.. ok. Cool. I can’t see what your actual argument is here? – actually please don’t respond as I simply don’t care 🙂

    “you’re not in the community” – I’m sorry what does it take to join such a “community” is it some sort of special decoder ring that I’ve not gotten since I “left” it. Where does one “sign up” to be “apart” of the community?

    Seeing holes? you’ve not yet proved the point wrong. All you’ve echoed is your opinion and established that Silverlight has had significant growth with the .NET crowd? In which case we have two separate opinions on the matter. I’ve stated my case, you’ve stated yours. Cool. Move on shall we?

    I’m sure you’ll have a reply that’s of equal wit and measure as your previous in which case, congrats you have the last say on the matter. Meanwhile Pete asked me a question, i gave my response. That’s all 🙂

    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  29. Haha…I don’t know why but you and I never communicate well.

    “It’s not fair” is not what I’m saying. Just saying I wouldn’t boast 4:1.

    “special decoder ring” is funny. Just saying you’re not dealing with clients, working with or hiring Flex developers, etc.

    Aren’t we all just stating opinions? Yours is no more on point than mine but we’re still entitled. 😉 Yep…move on.

    No need to be offended or get cheap man. Just a healthy dialogue, I assumed, but maybe not. Typically sbarnes “wit”. hehe.

    I’m out. No more responding from me here.

    Again, thanks Peter!

  30. Brad Becker says:

    @John – In my experience, companies just want to know they’ll be able to hire qualified experts for their project. They don’t care whether they used to be WPF or Java or Flash developers (unless they also require those skill sets) as long as they can do a good job on the Silverlight or Flex project. Right?


  31. John C. Bland II says:

    Did I say something to the contrary? Scott and I were talking about his 4:1 ratio.

    I agree about hiring. I merely said the background stuff (java, wpf, etc) to clarify a point about 4:1 not how “hireable” they are.

  32. Look at the growth of Silverlight on Indeed’s job boards:

    Flex and Flash:

    In absolute terms there are currently about 10x more Flash/Flex jobs out there than for Silverlight developers. But Silverlight is growing in the thousands of percent.

  33. John C. Bland II says:

    I saw that and love it! 🙂 the more SL jobs = more contract work. 😉

  34. Scott Barnes says:

    @John C. Bland II
    Apologies if I was short with you yesterday John, I was tired and in a bad mood and at the time felt you were just agitating rather than communicating – suffice to say, I think we are talking past each other on this one.

    @Bart Czernicki
    Jobs are a good indicator for growth, but be careful, as high demand can mean bad as well. I remember Coldfusion had huge demand in Australia at one point, but couldn’t backfill in supply (warm bodies). This resulted in companies abandoning Coldfusion and going for PHP/RoR/.NET/JSP etc instead.

    What you want to see is high demand and closure of advertisements, then this indicates developer uptake whilst at the same time negates the previously mentioned.


    Scott Barnes
    Rich Platforms Product Manager

  35. John C. Bland II says:

    Wow…that’s big of you and I appreciate it. I don’t agitate too often. 😉 LOL.

    Yes, we’re not connecting at all. 🙂 All good though.

  36. […] Scott Barnes’ interview by Peter Elst is a must-read. Who knew that the current Microsoft Rich Platforms Product Manager was once an […]

  37. […] Interview with Scott Barnes about Silverlight 3 | Peter Elst"In closing Pete, I honestly think both Microsoft and Adobe are solving similar problems but with a different set of tools, and so we are both just going to co-exist." […]

  38. Eric Fickes says:

    I’m late to the party and don’t like to join religious battles. It’s ridiculous both sides can’t just get along. On the internet, users don’t give a french toast whether it’s flash, SL, or chocolate pudding, as long as it works. And by users, I mean OUR end customers, not our tech peers, tech rags, etc.

    Personally, I freaking love programming both, and I would go crazy if I had to commit to all MS or all Adobe. In fact, I currently do mostly Adobe client side, and MS back end and they work out great. The only reason I haven’t gotten dirty with SL is we haven’t been asked yet. I’m still excited about SL though, Flash has had zero competition IMO since roughly forever.

    Lastly, thanks for the interview Scott and Peter. It’s great having leaders from both camps coming together.

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