In what Digit writer Elizabeth Montalbano sees as a response to Adobe's decision to release its Flex SDK to open source, Microsoft reportedly has plans to open source part of its Silverlight Web browser plug-in.
Though the company has declined to comment thus far, the article cites "sources" who say that Microsoft will announce the open source plans and release a beta version of Silverlight at this week's MIX '07. Silverlight enables "rich video and interactive media experiences" within a browser session. Microsoft is marketing it as a direct competitor to Adobe's Flash.
Observers recognize that Microsoft is attempting to "make the leap" to the Web as a software development and delivery platform in order to compete with Adobe and Web services providers like Google or Yahoo, the Digit piece says. However, they also note that Adobe has the advantage in terms of presence and time in the market. What's more, according to one analyst, "Microsoft just doesn't know how to appeal to the designer crowd."