In the Clouds

Silverlight seems to be doing pretty well according to most accounts in its Olympics launch, suffering digs only at the hands of John Dowdell of Adobe and those unhappy with the lack of full screen display (a function not of a limitation of Silverlight technology but NBC wanting to sell the HD version of the events and avoid pissing off the cable and satellite companies.)

The numbers were big: 30 million uniques, 6.3 million shared streams, and according to eWeek 8 million Silverlight downloads a day. The New York Times even produced a Silverlight offline Reader for the Mac but unfortunately it doesn’t work on Intel Macs or apparently Firefox or Safari. I loaded it and got a menu but no window. Verdict: NBC, Microsoft, Mac fans largely happy, Adobe sucking wind and trying to make it sound like a musical interlude.

More and more, the difference between a commercial free venture and an open source free venture is hard to pin down. WordPress is a raging success, with contributed code being leveraged across personal, business, and media sites. And .Net developers now are free to build cross-platform apps on Silverlight, leveraging the 4MB mini-Windows runtime with .Net Framework’s managed code and smart DVR-like fetch-ahead and Deep Zoom features for starters.

Meanwhile, Apple’s continued MobileMe problems forced another 60-day extension of the free introductory period. The Curpertino on-demand unit’s troubles underline how spectacular a rollout Silverlight accomplished, and set up an interesting dynamic with the new 60 days timing out around the time of the PDC in October when Mesh will go into beta with developers. Oh, and Dell and Facebook are announcing something about a “partnership around the next generation of Cloud Computing” on the 26th in San Francisco. Tick tick tick…