What users are saying about

Adobe AIR

46 Ratings
Score 6.8 out of 101

Microsoft Silverlight

7 Ratings
Score 8.6 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Adobe AIR

Adobe AIR is well-suited for a developer who is already familiar with Flash and AS3. It is well-suited for 2D app development using Starling or another third-party graphics library. However, to be used appropriately and avoid errors and poor performance, a basic understanding of programming principles is needed, so it's not great for a designer who hasn't studied a lot of coding.
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Microsoft Silverlight

The Silverlight plug-in means developers can target a single, consistent runtime for browser-based apps, rather than working with the complexity of multiple browsers in different versions. You also get video and multimedia effects that are hard or impossible with pure HTML and JavaScript, though Adobe Systems' Flash has the same advantages.
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Pros

  • Adobe AIR supports a lot of commonly needed features for mobile app development.
  • It is fairly stable and consistent once you learn how to use it.
  • It is cross-platform and is supported by some useful third-party plugins.
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  • Silverlight interprets XAML directly
  • Take your .NET code cross-platform
  • Third-party component vendors are already well on with Silverlight add-ons
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Cons

  • It is cumbersome to update if you use Flash Builder.
  • It still relies on Flash and vector graphics and therefore can have poor performance unless you are using a third-party library such as Starling.
  • It is updated somewhat slowly and is still missing some useful features such as controller support.
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  • No support for the popular H.264 video codec
  • Another effort to promote proprietary technology rather than open standards
  • Silverlight is a browser-only solution
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Usability

Adobe AIR7.0
Based on 1 answer
Although Adobe AIR is just an SDK without an actual "UI" it's commonly used within Flash, Flash Builder, or FlashDevelop. Considering the integration with Flash IDE, there are very few tools that can compete with its features.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
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Alternatives Considered

Generally stacks up fairly negatively, program definitely has its place, I appreciate what it can allow but now most desktop apps are fine enough as browser based experiences or for personal use mobile is the way to go. Air isn't the best environment for that.
Chris Cookson profile photo
Microsoft Silverlight allows more adaptability and it integrates well with our products across the company. Adobe Flash crashes or doesn't work with our shipping campus.
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Return on Investment

  • Using Adobe AIR allows your team to be comprised of Flash/ActionScript 3 developers, which can be easy/cheap to find compared to other disciplines (based on location). This can lower the bottom-line in terms of engineering costs.
  • As the Adobe AIR SDK is free to use, the cost of entry is basically free. Additionally, the Adobe AIR SDK may be used in conjunction with a free IDE, such as FlashDevelop, making the entire stack completely free to use.
  • One negative impact is the stigma against Adobe Flash/AIR. Due to Adobe's less than stellar track record (in terms of support and security) with both Flash and Flash Mobile, there are numerous clients that we've dealt with, that refused to approve Adobe AIR as a tool.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
  • Allows us to print shipping labels with ease, saving time and money!
  • Allows users to navigate the UPS shipping campus.
  • Due to shipping restrictions in some areas, having options available to ship, made possible by Silverlight, is crucial!
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Pricing Details

Adobe AIR

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Microsoft Silverlight

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details