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Microsoft Wants To Bring Silverlight To iPhone, Android

The company is facing a battle getting its Web plug-in on Apple's handsets, but the open nature of Android makes it an attractive platform for Silverlight.
Microsoft said it's working on bringing its Silverlight Web application plug-in to the mobile market.

The company recently released the 2.0 version of its Adobe Flash competitor, and it features enhanced video support, new programming languages, and more.

In an interview with TechRadar, Scott Guthrie, VP of Microsoft's .Net developer division, said the company has been working on Silverlight for the iPhone. But, like with Flash, Apple is reluctant to allow third-party Web plug-ins on its handset.

"Until they open it up to third-party plug-ins, like Silverlight and Flash, we're both prevented from running there," Guthrie said.

Guthrie said Silverlight on the iPhone is not an option at the moment, but the company would definitely come to Apple's mobile platform if it could. But Guthrie did say Microsoft may bring Silverlight to Google's open source Android.

"It's more of an open platform, that is something we're going to continue to look at," said Guthrie. "Certainly as it's gotten deployed and if sales are good we'll definitely keep our eyes out and look at that in the future."

Google introduced the Android platform last November with the goal of bringing open source innovation from the Web to the traditionally closed mobile market. The first hardware sporting the Android operating system is due to launch next week, and early orders indicate there will be a sizable market for the G1.

The open nature of Android may give it a competitive advantage in capturing developer mindshare, particularly against Apple. Content creators will face very few restrictions in creating applications for Android phones, and Google said it will not take a cut of the revenue from any app sold.

By contrast, Apple has faced some criticism because it has unclear guidelines as to what content gets in its App Store, and it also takes a 30% cut of any app sold. But developers will probably still be drawn to the iPhone because a popular app has the potential to generate a lot of revenue.

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