Sometimes when I'm writing a reply to a comment, I realize it deserves a new blog post. Here you go….
>> I think that you're being optimistic in thinking that Silverlight is an automatic choice, even with SL 2.0. <<
Sorry, I was unclear. I meant it was an automatic choice for me. That is, for my values, for my work, with my history and needs, it is a no-brainer: and would be if I didn't work for Microsoft. In fact, it was, before I worked for Microsoft. After I saw Silverlight at Mix 07, I went home and within a week registered Silverlight Consulting LLC.
That was my plan until I was offered the only better job in the world, the one I have now.
The point is that Silverlight fits in with my existing skills, builds on the technology I know, uses the tools I like, comes from a company I trust to get it right. So for me it was a no-brainer.
What I was trying to say is that I'm not good at (as you can see) selling it to anyone else. I see my job as coming mostly post-sales; helping those who want to learn or use Silverlight to get the most out of the experience, and helping to make sure that Silverlight.net is the place they turn to for whatever they need.
I did not mean to suggest that the decision to use Silverlight is a given for everyone else. As always, there are some for whom it actually is a given, and there are some for whom the rule may well be "anyone but Microsoft" — for most an evaluation will be made based on their needs and the technology, though I reject the idea that lots of people come to a technology like this as babes in the woods, open to any technology solely based on its merits, as if they have no previous investments in learning, acquired skills, legacy technology, etc.
How big each group is, is outside my area of expertise. Put a gun to my head and make me guess? My gut says the world will look something like the following by end of 2009:
Silverlight adopted with no alternative seriously considered: 20%.
Not Silverlight, no matter what we do: 10%
Explore Silverlight but decide on a competitor: 5%
Explore Silverlight and its competition and choose Silverlight: 40%
Decide to stay out of this space for now: 20%.
Fell out of the statistical map, and never heard from again: 5%
**** THIS IS NOT A MICROSOFT PREDICTION OPINION OR EVEN SPECULATION *** This is straight from my own 2 decades of being wrong every time I predict anything to you. And note that, carefully, I have worked hard to develop a fairly reliable record of being dead wrong. ("what is this Mac toy? "I prefer 1-2-3" "Personally, I like the dot prompt")
This is why my retirement is in indexed funds.