The Wall Street Journal today published a nice rundown of the battle brewing between Microsoft and Adobe over Web video and animation software, and Web design tools. The story lists the major customer wins each company has notched this year and refers to Microsoft’s willingness to offer lots of extras to get its technology on marquee sites.
“Adobe’s Flash player is installed on about 98% of Internet-connected PCs, and Silverlight is only installed on about 25%, according to Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe executives said this gives the smaller company about a two-year head start. But Microsoft is “willing to invest” in order to win certain “trophy sites,” said [Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Microsoft unit responsible for Silverlight].
One such win was a college sports site for CBS. The broadcaster chose Silverlight. “Microsoft chipped in free development and support that ‘reduced our costs tremendously,’ said Tom Buffolano, the CBS business unit’s former chief. A CBS spokesman declined to comment.”
For more background, check out this story from spring on the Adobe veterans Microsoft cherry picked to rev up its Web design software business.