Microsoft Wants the Web, but WPF/E is no Flash

Started to see “You must install WPF/E to view this page” messages?  You’ll probably see more of them in the future, as Microsoft employees start pushing the world to install their take on Flash.  Check out the top line of simplegeek.com for a gratuitous example.

WPF/E is good technology, but suffers from a serious problem:  Launch lag.

Launch lag is what keeps Java applets from taking over the Web.  Any site that thinks about using Java applets for user interaction quickly notices that the user’s first visit to the site results in a long delay while the Java runtime spins up and prepares the applet.

WPF/E is worse than Java in this respect.  Time how long it takes between when you visit a page that has WPF/E content and when it’s ready to view.  It’s not pretty.

Adobe Reader has the same problem.  Flash does not.  Flash is ready in an instant – the Flash guys get it.

This is one of the reasons I’m more interested in MXML than XAML as a language for developing rich Web applications.  MXML uses Flash as it’s VM, and Flash initializes fast.