RIA Trends

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-14 Print this article Print


What trends are you seeing in the rich Internet applications [RIA] arena?

No. 1, Flash is the incumbent, the leader. But if you look at Flex, [Adobe] AIR, [Microsoft] Silverlight and Eclipse RCP [Rich Client Platform], all of them have smaller market share. But if you look at the next 12 to 18 months, they just about double their current market share. And interesting enough, Silverlight almost triples. Silverlight is very, very popular with this Web 2.0 technology developer.

What do you attribute that to? General curiosity? Microsoft marketing?

I think Microsoft marketing and the fact that Microsoft supports its products very well. And many people think about Microsoft as not the innovator-which they aren't in many cases-but, boy, they're the fastest follower you can find. When you look at developer support and quality of product, and then you look at how those products tie back into the stack so easily, it really facilitates the productivity of these developers. So that's that.

An RIA war is brewing. Read more here. 

From our standpoint, Adobe and Microsoft from the RIA side are the leaders and will be the leaders. IBM likes to think that Eclipse, and the Rich Client Platform, is going to be, but it's not. It hasn't grabbed the market share that they thought it would.

Do you think the Linux support will boost that?

You know, I think from the RIA standpoint, the OS is really transparent if you do it right. I think it's OS-agnostic.

But you just have to do it, though, because Silverlight has Moonlight as its Linux implementation, and then Adobe has introduced a beta of a Linux version of AIR.

Exactly, so the OS becomes a non-issue, and it really gets down to the performance of the RIA. And Silverlight's very good, and it's being adopted rapidly.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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