Comparing Apples to Oranges – The AIR & Silverlight story

With AIR 1.0 out of the door, I have been trying to follow the reactions on the Internet and I have to say that its very exciting to see the response that AIR has received. But, there has also been a lot of confusion among people about what AIR can do and what it cannot. A lot of this is fueled by people like Mozilla & Microsoft sending out confusing signals about AIR. Before I get into the subject of what AIR is and what it is not, I want to say one thing to all who are out there…

Compare Apples to Apples & not to Oranges. AIR and Silverlight are NOT in the same space at all. Silverlight, on the other hand is a product that is trying to do something that Flash has already delivered for the last 10 years.

The best definition that clarifies this was found on the Wikipedia in true Web2.0 style… about AIR, Wiki says:

AIR: Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR), is a cross-operating system runtime environment for building rich Internet applications, using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML and Ajax, that can be deployed as a desktop application.

The keywords in the above definition are “runtime” & “desktop“. In contrast to this, for Silverlight, wiki says:

Silverlight: Microsoft Silverlight is a browser plugin that allows web applications to be developed with features like animation, vector graphics, and audio-video playback – features that characterize a rich internet application.

Again the definition is built around the keyword “browser plugin“. I hope this contributes to clearing some of the confusion that seems to be reigning in the web space about AIR along with posts like this.  I also sincerely hope that the various foundations, corporations &  individuals would stop comparing AIR with Silverlight.


3 Responses to Comparing Apples to Oranges – The AIR & Silverlight story

  1. Charlie Key says:

    I would however say that Silverlight is very much to a competitor of Flex/Flash combo. And Microsoft has said they plan on taking Silverlight offline at some point. I wouldn’t expect to see this anytime soon but never count out Microsoft.

  2. Satheesh says:

    good one 🙂 Adobe still rocks !!!!! down goes Microsoft

  3. […] cant’s crib enough about the people who take the name of AIR & Silverlight in the same breath, as these are as […]

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