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Flash is Dominating the Landscape, but Silverlight is Growing

by Abel Avram on Mar 10, 2009 |

A RIA statistics page is publishing the numbers of browsers having RIA plug-ins installed on a daily basis. The RIA space today is occupied by Flash but Silverlight is catching up.

The statistics were collected by monitoring 41 web sites over a period of 30 days counting a total of almost 1.5 million unique browsers. Considering all browsers and operating systems, Flash is present on 97% of the systems, while Silverlight is on 21% and Java plug-in on 75%. (All the numbers were rounded.)

OS Flash (%) Silverlight (%) Java (%)
Linux 83 2 28
Mac OS X 95 18 96
Windows 2000 97 4 60
Windows 2003 51 10 39
Windows XP 99 20 74
Windows Vista 99 30 86
Windows 7 100 83 0
Total 97 21 75

What’s interesting is that Silverlight is more present in Firefox than Internet Explorer, when it comes to browsers across all operating systems:

Browser Flash (%) Silverlight (%) Java (%)
Firefox 97 27 88
IE 97 21 73
Safari 100 19 93

Across all browsers and OSes, the major RIA platforms scored:

RIA Technology Presence (%)
Flash 9 42
Flash 10 53
Silverlight 1 2
Silverlight 2 19

For the last 3 months, the trends are:

RIA Technology 3 months ago (%) Today (%)
Flash 9 58 40
Flash 10 37 54
Silverlight 1 3 3
Silverlight 2 12 19

Flash 9 and 10 have switched places, together having a strong presence across browsers. Flash is the RIA platform of choice. Silverlight 1 is about at the same level at around 3%, while Silverlight 2 grew almost 8%. But Microsoft is most likely going to include Silverlight in Windows 7, and its presence will certainly rocket.

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First Post by Reg Whitton

First post - four day and not one comment. Incredibly, no one thinks this is going to be important.

Silverlight - to be continued - keep watching ;-)

When to jump in by Mike Gale

The rate at which Silverlight is spreading is impressive.

The question is when does it get the time to get started. Clearly depends on your audience.

Going to the link (above) in early June 2009 suggests maybe 10% points gain for SL 2 in 3 months (non RIA sites). That takes it to about 30% of browsers. Windows 7 will give a boost, but ignoring that we can guestimate another 30% in 9 months. If that's plausible we have say 60% penetration in March 2010, which looks like a reasonable time to launch. So subtract set up time from end March 2010 and you have a crude guess at when you might want to get started (for a generic audience).

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