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Say those points the other way round, and you'd probably think the chances of Microsoft actually doing any of them were slim to zero.
Silverlight MUST interoperate easily with Java/PHP/Ruby
Silverlight MUST support other development environments such as Eclipse
Silverlight MUST take itself seriously, after all we have a working JEE infrastructure, why use Silverlight?
Anyway, I'm just saying that you probably wouldn't expect Microsoft to deal with any of these issues "out of the box", they are more likely be solved by third party products with a vested interest.
For example, take Microsoft support of the Linux platform with Silverlight. There is none. Novell are the ones doing the work for that with the Moonlight project, because they have a vested interest in potential customers not being locked in to one OS platform, and delivery a full spectrum experience to their customers.
And in the Flex world, there is already a product called WebORB for .NET by the Midnight Coders which allows much better back end support for .NET, again showing that 3rd parties are actively working on these issues on both sides of the fence.
"Java refuses to admit generics are needed."
Just wondering, are we talking about the same Java? The Java that got generics from 5.0 onwards, a year or so before .NET 2.0 was out and generics were available in C#?
Well Silverlight is not open source, is it? I think you forgot this point and it is probably what will make Flex very popular I feel. You can already build without adobe products (means 0€) a good Flex application with Java backend thanks to Granite Data Services and Cairngorm (well building without an IDE is a pain so I feel every programmer should buy Flex Builder even if it has some very troublesome bugs). Many people are also scared of developping without direct access to the sources.
With so many open source and free libraries for ActionScript 3.0 (and Java of course!) it is also a big advantage for Flex.
Flash player9 (absolutely incredible... fast, popular,etc), builder based in eclipse , open source, portability (any OS, many server side languages), easy to integrate with flash, ajax, realy easy to build a layout in most powerfull image programs like photoshop, illustrator, fireworks, and many more vantages.
If silverlight is better than flex, why first version of silverlight website was run in flashplayer. I think you must study more before talk.
I did not say Java HAS NOT generics; but it delayed it until pushing from .NET cause them to admit it.
You have constructed many "WILL" clauses that should occur in a future. No problem! But you did not see what I noted here. .NET was nothing and ... see this survey of Netcraft : http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/03/23/aspnet_overtakes_jsp_and_java_servlets.html.
"ASP.NET Overtakes JSP and Java Servlets" occurred in 2004. And there are many companies that are using .NET technologies. The tool you have pointed here does not exists (At least they have no website! Google it!).
I do not say Silverlight may take over Flash in one night. But it MAY (Still I do not say "CAN") and .NET has a big enough bunch of users to be noticed. Flash is about RIA. So the is no danger in supporting .NET. Who will use Silverlight? The IT managers and biz-men will come up with a huge buzz in less than 1 year. I can not predict. (But anybody can say confident sentences!) But Flex as it is doing by now; is not doing well.
If nobody in Adobe do not like to point this out; too bad for me. :)
So the is no danger in supporting .NET.
Well, there is no danger for Microsoft supporting Coldfusion either, except for it being a competing platform against other products they sell.
I don't know what you searched for on Google, but try "WebORB" with "I'm feeling lucky" if you want to use .NET for the middle layer of a Flex application.
As for the ultimate reason to choose Flex, for most people the "I" in RIA generally stands for Internet. Flex is all about connectivity and live data interaction. You can already use a huge variety of platforms behind Flex and there are very solid front end components for displaying and interacting with data.
Instead of trying to match these features, Microsoft simply changed the "I" to mean Interactive. I've yet to see any examples of using Silverlight using data sources that don't involve looping through and adding inserting extra elements into a XAML template. At this point, this is nothing compared to the remote objects, messaging and data management features that have been available in Flex for some time. You can even use remote objects from .NET in your Flex application using the WebORB product I mentioned.
Flash is about the original meaning of RIA, but Silverlight is not (at least not in version 1.x). From what I've found out from reading and trying things out, Silverlight is just AJAX with a few bells on, together will all the limitations of that technique.