Sunday, July 06, 2008

Silverlight vs Mac, Round 2, FIGHT!

Ok, well, I'm calmed down since that last post. And can even offer a little speculative clarity, now that I've done hours of research (Google is my friend).

In the interest of being right all the time, first I have to admit I was wrong. Silverlight does in fact work on the Mac. Long story short, based on what I know now, it looks as though TSN/CTV doesn't have an up to date SDK which contains a better "Silverlight.js" file they need in order for Mac users to not get the beloved "please install Silverlight" screen of death every time. For more on this, check out Tim Heuer's blog on why this file makes peace instead of war. Far be it from me to tell Big Media how to run a web site LOL...but up to date software sounds like good sense, especially in these days where video on the web is as common as spam. And since Silverlight is beta to begin with, those updates are very very important.

Now, whether or not TSN will someday update their Silverlight, who knows. Hopefully for Canadian Mac users/TSN fans, they will soon. Maybe they'll even read this post, and hire me on as Director of Not-making Ourselves Look Ridiculous Online, if such a department exists.

But, I've tested some of the sample sites Microsoft provides links to on the Silverlight page, and they indeed work, in Firefox 3, and Safari, on the Mac. Glory Be.

Nevertheless, at this point I can't say Silverlight is any better than Flash, not sure what the hype is about (I'm not a developer, just a simple content consumer). Microsoft always seems to come in to markets that are already dominated and make outlandish claims about 'innovation' and promising the moon (and delivering a stalled rocket), but because of their massive install base (mostly pirated copies), gain just enough traction to cause these kinds of headaches. We, the end-user, then have to put our lives on hold while web sites around the world try and play nice with MS' new file formats, plugins, 'standards', etc.

My guess is that Silverlight provides the ability to do live event streaming, so TSN would be interested in that, what with their shiny new NHL streaming rights. Well, they better get on the ball, cause right now, their implementation doesn't work. I'd sure hate October to roll around and sure enough, "please install Silverlight"...I need a t-shirt with that on it, after all this.

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