Flex and Silverlight are best among their users. But when it comes to the best of both then there must be a winner. The complete description is given below.
Adobe was having a real good time before Silverlight’s debut. Microsoft lovers(rest were already into Adobe services right from dreamweaver to Flash to ColdFusion) didn’t have any option but to go for Flash/Flex for developing RIAs(Rich Internet Application),but with Silverlight,the MS community is on a high because they’ve got an ‘easy to grab’ option over flex and they’re simply lovin it…
However Flash is ubiquitous but Silverlight is making up the gap quite faster.There is a strong possibility that Windows 7 (the successor of Vista) may come with Silverlight pre-installed.
Both the competitors best the other one in some areas or the other.Let’s have a look….
Flex over Silverlight
Flex has a mature and growing component set.With third version of flex in the market already,they have worked over their limitations quite well. There are lots of developers creating open source components for Flex and the source code for all the components is available in the Flex SDK
There are countless small to large companies actively developing RIA’s with Flex, from Yahoo to Google to many Web 2.0 start-ups.And it’s a safe bet for them as well because mostly all browsers have flash player installed with them.Also,
Flash Player is installed on 98% of machines today.75% of advertising online & 70% of online videos are flash supported.
Flex has gone fully open source under the Mozilla Public License(MPL) .The compilers and framework are available for extension and embedding within the Flex 3 SDK.
Strong media engine
Flex has a stronger graphics and media engine.Adobe has got a higher hand in Imaging and graphics,majorly because of its strong foundation in this field
Silverlight over Flex
Silverlight ties and intregrates into the .NET architecture quite seamlessly.Also,if a programmer is already into .NET, then learning curve will be much lower for silverlight.The concepts are quite familiar to .NET,unlike flex where AS(Actionscript) is far different from Flash and also tough to master
Light and Fast
Silverlight is relatively light and faster. The 1.1 alpha was about 5 times faster than flex using bubblemark (standard benchmark for RIAs)
When it comes to user experience,deep zooming (like zooming into an area in Google maps) has never been there in flash/flex but silverlight allows you to smoothly zoom from a wide angle display to an extreme closeup on any object
Although flex is the frontrunner at the moment,the buzz(Google trends comparison below) is more about Silverlight(may be driven) and more developers are shifting themselves from flex to silverlight nowadays.
The weaker competitor(current) has a lot to come up with in recent future…