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RIA & Ajax: Article

Microsoft's Silverlight Boss on How Silverlight 2 Fits in with Media and RIA Scenarios

There are things you simple can't do with pure AJAX, says Scott Guthrie - Corporate Vice President, .NET Developer Platform

Scott Guthrie isn't much bothered whether they're called "Rich Internet Applications" or "Rich Interactive Applications" - Microsoft, where Guthrie is Corporate Vice President of the .NET Developer Platform and therefore head of the Redmond team behind Silverlight 2, uses both. In a recent interview he says "We use each kind of interchangeably. Mostly we just call them RIAs now." 

In the interview, with Wharton Business School, Guthrie explains how Microsoft decided internally when to go with Silverlight versus other web technologies.

"In general, we leave it up to individual teams what technology they choose - whether they want to use AJAX, a desktop client or Silverlight," notes Guthrie, who adds: 

 "Right now you are seeing a pretty widespread conversion from where we are using Flash to Silverlight. We're finding that the performance is better and the capabilities are richer. I expect to see that continue."
In the interview, Guthrie was asked when we might Silverlight on the iPhone, to which he replied that  "it's something that we're going to be looking at," adding: "Technically, we feel pretty good with Silverlight. Because we have a good platform abstraction layer, we can port it to almost any device."

In February 2006 Guthrie gave an exclusive interview on SYS-CON.TV, recorded at the Microsoft HQ in Redmond, WA, in which he outlined Microsoft's then still emergent vision for Rich Internet Applications. He was a founding member of the .NET Framework team and today runs the development teams that deliver the CLR, ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, IIS7, and the Visual Studio tools for Web, WPF and Silverlight development.

He was promoted from General Manager to Corporate Vice President in February 2008.

View Scott Guthrie's exclusive interview live from Redmond with SYS-CON.TV's Jeremy Geelan

Two of the biggest launches in Rich Internet Application history took place in 2007/2008 when Adobe launched AIR 1.0 in February '08 and Microsoft launched Silverlight (September '07). At the 6th International AJAXWorld RIA Conference & Expo in October SYS-CON Events is delighted to be presenting major industry keynotes from the two industry executives with overall responsibility for both of those massive richer-web initiatives: Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch and Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's .NET Developer Platform.

Lynch, who will be keynoting on October 21, 2008, is one of the original coiners of the term "Rich Internet Application" back in 2002 and has intimate knowledge of Flash and AIR, the two platforms that - together with Acrobat and PDF - now make up the four platforms which together make Adobe the software powerhouse it is. Previously Adobe's Chief Software Architect, he was promoted to CTO in February '08.

Guthrie, who will be keynoting October 22, 2008, was a founding member of the .NET Framework team and today runs the development teams that deliver the CLR, ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, IIS7, and the Visual Studio tools for Web, WPF and Silverlight development. Previously the General Manager of Microsoft's Developer Divsion, he was promoted to Corporate Vice President in February '08.

The Adobe and Microsoft executives head a Speaker Faculty of top industry front-end engineers, UX experts, Web 2.0 pioneers and industry luminaries, including:

  • The CTO of Adobe - Kevin Lynch (keynote)
  • Microsoft's Silverlight boss - Scott Guthrie (keynote)
  • The discoverer of JSON - Douglas Crockford
  • The creator of jQuery - John Resig
  • Engineering manager of the YUI Team at Yahoo! - Eric Miraglia
  • Senior Evangelist, Amazon - Jeff Barr
  • Developer Advocate, Google - Chris Schalk
  • Architect at eBay - Michael Galpin
  • Director, User Interface Engineering at Netflix - BillScott
  • VP of Engineering at TripIt.com - Andy Denmark
  • Chief dragon-wrangler for Komodo - Shane Caraveo  
  • Chairman & CEO of WaveMaker - Chris Keene
  •  CSO of Curl - Jnan Dash 
  • CTO of Pathfinder Development - Dietrich Kappe
  • Sun's AJAX Architect - Greg Murray
  • Technology Evangelist for Web Services and Web 2.0 Apps at Sun - Arun Gupta
  • Senior Engineer and Designer, Yahoo! - Nate Koechley
  • President and senior trainer at Object Training Group - James Harmon
  • Lead Developer of the Qcodo Development Framework for PHP - Michael Ho
  • VP of Business Development at CommuniGate Systems - Jon Doyle
  • Sr. Developer at the creative agency Magnani Caruso Dutton - Mike Girouard
  • Lead Developer for the Oracle Fusion Middleware Integration Platform - Rakesh Saha
  • UI Architect at Edream Solutions - Sue Googe
  • System Operations Manager at EngineYard - Yehuda Katz
  • Co-Founder & COO of Concept Solutions - John Krahulec
  • Co-Founder & COO of Finicity - Nicholas Thomas
  • Principal Consultant, Experience Design at Molecular - Evan Gerber
  • Principal Engineer, VeriSign - Karthik Shyamsunder
  • Principal Software Developer, Red Hat - Thomas Heute
  • Operations Manager of the OpenAjaxAlliance - John Ferraiolo
  • Web Theorist, IBM - Andrew Donoho
  • Tech Lead of the Spring Faces project  - Jeremy Grelle
  • Senior Consultant at SpringSource - Rossen Stoyanchev
  • Group Program Manager at Microsoft - Brad Abrams
  • Development Team Lead for the EGL Rich UI - Chris Laffra
  • Development Manager, UI Framework and Services, Microsoft - Matt Gibbs
  • Managing Partner of Catalyst Resources - Paul Giurata

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to RIA@sys-con.com to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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Most Recent Comments
Flex vs Silverlight 06/01/08 03:03:50 AM EDT

With Silverlight you get XAML and you get C#. Flex doesn't tie into Visual Studio; you have to either write the MXML in Notepad and compile or use Flex Builder.

Tom Van den Eynde 05/31/08 01:59:05 PM EDT

"Right now you are seeing a pretty widespread conversion from where we are using Flash to Silverlight." --> in your dreams

.NET/Silverlight 05/31/08 12:18:43 PM EDT

> Can developers use .NET to create Silverlight
> applications

Sure you can use XAML and VB.NET or C# as the back-end code language

Rich Deeson 05/31/08 12:17:06 PM EDT

Can developers use .NET to create Silverlight applications ?