Nice try, Microsoft. Seems like Ozzie pushing things forward.
We'll find out if they can really do it.
IE8 support for standards is good news. Compare IE4 ... M$ always support standards when they know they're the underdog. But still not clear what having a browser buys them. And developer support in finding bugs is very nice. (Will help a lot in day-job)
Clearly they "get it" WRT what I was saying here. Flash vs. Silverlight vs. JavaFX (and Android somewhere) is the battleground that counts, both for rich widgets-in-YASNS and for the device-swarm. M$ are pushing Silverlight. Not sure I like the emphasis on advertising, but I see where it comes from. As always, Microsoft's secret weapon is their development tools and community. Visual Studio is ready for Silverlight.
Actually, we shouldn't be surprised by this. "Rich Internet Applications" or this kind of media player / virtual machine is a "sustaining innovation" ... it follows the logic that traditional proprietory software companies like Adobe and Microsoft and Apple are used to : building sophisticated code-bases, having total control over the user's experience, working with your own protocols, supporting it with good tools etc. This is not a game of insinuating yourself into and taking advantage of a massive community defined by open standards. Google would be hopeless here. But M$ will be good.
Of course, it's Apple and the iPod ecology which has persuaded everyone that this is still the game. But interestingly they aren't playing here ... unless QuickTime is due for a revamp. Not sure what's under the bonnet of iPhone etc. but perhaps Apple no longer want to be associated with "platforms" ... perhaps the idea is too geeky for their end-user focus. So Apple could use Silverlight (but rejecting Flash? Interesting, do they see Adobe as more of a rival in "cool-space" than Microsoft?)
In short ... Microsoft are a softare tech. company. This is all about software tech. So they do it well. But that may not guarantee success if Apple's consumer focus trumps. JavaFX is gonna be dead if someone somewhere doesn't come out with some tools to help work with it - which seems less than likely. Even Adobe can't afford to rest on their laurels. They're now head-to-head against M$ in the game that M$ is best at.