Microsoft unveiled Sparkle on the PDC 2005 in Los Angeles and it seems to target the Flash market – rich user experiences.

Channel 9 has a 1 hour video of the Sparkle dev team.

Sparkle is the codename for the Expression Interactive Designer – part of the Microsoft Expression package – and it has features similar to Flash.

Some key features are:

– Easy media integration, including 3D and video
– XAML as code standard – no compiled files
– Layout control framework
– Timeline more similar to After Effects than Flash

You can find more features in the video.

So, that is it for Flash? Will Microsoft invest insane marketing dollars into the product until Flash will lose the position in the market?

I think we’d wait and see. Microsoft tried to be leader in the gaming console market (but PS3 seems to have more horse power than the Xbox 360) and Flash has a loyal developer community. Flash also is a creative tool, which needs to be cross platform. It is questionable if the average Apple Flash developer will switch to a Microsoft product – the 3d feature is great, but how much 3d do we need for the a webpage? Even during the .com boom time, VRML wasn’t able to convince people and Shockwave 3d is rarely seen on the web.

But it’ll be an exciting time – competition has always been good, and maybe it’ll motivate the Adobe / Macromedia to push Flash even further.

Check out other people thoughts on it:

Tinic Url
Justin Everett-Church
Dave Yang