In an attempt to dislodge Adobe’s Flash from its dominant position, Microsoft has launched Silverlight, a cross-browser, cross-platform plugin.
Adobe claims Flash has a 97% penetration, with the latest version (v.9) climbing to 80%+.
This from the horse’s mouth:
Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, Silverlight enables developers and designers to use existing skills and tools: for designers, Microsoft Expression Studio, and for developers, Visual Studio.
Silverlight uses Windows Media Video (WMV) and Microsoft’s implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard to deliver video files can that scale from mobile devices to full-screen high-definition displays.
Now, I’ve never seen ANYONE using Microsoft’s Expression studio for design. In addition, only a few sites are using exclusively WMV streaming despite the fact that the server is free as opposed to Flash Media Server. All in all, it’ll be a steep climb for Microsoft.