Microsoft: Apple Not Interested in Silverlight, Flash for iPhone

According to Microsoft’s latest Silverlight announcement, Apple shows little to no interest in installing either Silverlight or Adobe Flash on its iPhones.

Thanks to the open source nature of Google’s mobile operating system Android, on the other hand, Silverlight on a Google-enabled phone is a prospective possibility for Microsoft — one they’d be eager to jump on.

“Basically where we’re at right now is we have talked with Apple,” Microsoft Vice President Scott Guthrie admitted. “We are very interested in being able to run [Silverlight] on the iPhone. At the end of the day, Apple ultimately controls what software runs on the iPhone. To date, what they’ve said is that at this time, they’re not looking to enable browser plug-ins like Silverlight or Flash to run on top of it.”

Microsoft’s perspective mirrors Adobe’s. However, according to Guthrie, Apple apparently hasn’t completely slammed the door to third-party vendors yet.

“They might in the future, but right now it isn’t an option for any vendor and so if they let us we’ll definitely come. Until they open it up to third-party plug-ins, like Silverlight and Flash, we’re both prevented from running there.”

The story is radically different for Google’s Android, the increasingly popular mobile operating system. T-Mobile has already sold out of its 1.5 million G1 phones, the first to run the OS, even prior to its release later this month. Thanks to Android’s open source license, third-party vendors will be welcome to build on top of the operating system and even contribute to the underlying technology. This means third-party applications like Silverlight and Flash will be welcomed on the mobile phone.

“[The] Google phone is slightly different.” Guthrie said. “It’s more of an open platform, that is something we’re going to continue to look at. 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.”

In fact, because the Android mobile browser is based heavily on Google’s Chrome desktop browser, it may be sooner rather than later that we’ll be able to see fully operable Flash applications on a mobile phone. Flash already runs on Chrome, and Silverlight works on the latest developer build.

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