Flash is the dominant software in web animation industry and Adobe makes thousands of dollars by selling this much loved software. However, other companies are also trying very hard to bite into its market share. Microsoft launched their animation software, Silverlight, a few years ago to beat Adobe, but till date, Flash remains invincible. Why? Here is a comparison between Adobeâ€™s powerful animation software and Silverlight that will help you understand why Flash animation rules supreme.
â€¢Â Â Â Animation- Flash offers frame based animation system and it takes quite some time and dedication to create an animated file. On the other hand, Silverlight offers WPF animation model. Itâ€™s a time based animation process and easier to handle. However, due to the frame based rendering process, our beloved software offers smoother dynamic effects than its competitor.
â€¢Â Â Â File Size- All text content and images are embedded in SWF. Therefore, the file size is very small, but its contender uses XAML. Itâ€™s a non compressed language and thus, the file size is much larger.
â€¢Â Â Â Scripting- Flash is powered by Actionscript. Itâ€™s an object oriented language and offers great flexibility. You can create different types of user interfaces and applications using Actionscript. It supports several languages and frameworks like PHP, ASP and Ruby On Rails.
Silverlight supports Visual C#.Net and Visual Basic.Net. It can use all the features of Microsoftâ€™s .net framework. This clearly shows that scripting wise Adobe offers better software to the developers.
â€¢Â Â Â Video and Audio Support-Flash is a clear winner in this aspect. It supports multiple video and audio formats. On the contrary, Silverlight supports vc-1 codec for video and WMA and WMV.
â€¢Â Â Â Audio Processing- You can control and manipulate the audio of a SWF file more comfortably than Silverlight. Microsoft does not offer any Audio API for their much hyped software and there is no WAV support.
â€¢Â Â Â Accessibility-Flash offers excellent accessibility features for visually challenged people. It provides video captions and lots of keyboard shortcuts for easier access. Silverlight also offers some accessibility features for visually impaired people, but not as many as Adobe is offering.
â€¢Â Â Â Platform Compatibility- In this segment, Adobe is a clear winner. Flash supports Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris. On the other hand, Microsoftâ€™s software supports only Mac and Windows.
â€¢Â Â Â SEO- SWF is not as easily readable as Silverlight content. This is probably the biggest drawback of SWF animation. Google is indexing SWF websites these days, but the other contender is both searchable and indexable.
â€¢Â Â Â Graphics Support- Throw any image file at Flash and it will accept it. On the contrary, its competitor supports only JPEG and PNG format.
â€¢Â Â Â Webcam Support- Flash supports both webcam and microphone. Hence, live audio/video transmission is absolutely brilliant. However, its competitor supports neither webcam, nor microphone.
â€¢Â Â Â Deployment- When you create a SWF file, all the images, text and audio are incorporated in it. Hence, you can deploy all the different elements at the same time. The deployment process of a Silverlight file is extremely complex. There is no synchronized deployment option. You must release the components separately.
The aforementioned discussion clearly proves that Adobeâ€™s animation software is lot more advanced, feature rich and user friendly than Silverlight.