Microsoft is running awfully silent and awfully fast with RIA through Silverlight. Silverlight catches a few of the IT Trade Press because its a signal sent out by Redmond. And the message technically is getting better – as the new Astoria data integration services with special URL syntax indicates. Microsoft is down to the old game of make it dead simple first, then add some of the complex bells and whistles in the arena of data integration. This is a weakpoint of AIR without Google Gears or the new BEA link up. And JavaFX really is co-dependent on Java Prime to deliver equivalent capabilities.
So checkout the coverage here on Astoria, and decide for yourself what types of data manipulation apps this enables. The one problem – Silverlight/WCF runs best only in Windows XP and Vista and not in all browsers. Having seen Microsofts often debilitating attacks on anything that threatens their Windows desktop hegemony, I have first, second and third doubts about the universal deployment and applicability of Silverlight based apps. But others may not have my scruples – so I and other will have to pay attention to Silverlight as the Microsoft Live Desktop+ Services software emerges. Clearly Silverlight will be a key component.