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Ballmer: Silverlight not ready for the iPhone

CEO concerned about third-party iPhone apps

Steve Ballmer said Microsoft wants to get its Silverlight technology, which allows developers to build and deliver multimedia applications on the web, "everywhere" and that putting it on the iPhone is certainly "interesting".

However, the Microsoft CEO said we shouldn't bet on the Silverlight, a competitor to Adobe Flash, working on Apple's handset anytime soon: "I can't say there has been extensive discussion" with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about it, he said.

See also:

Microsoft puts Silverlight on Nokia phones

Users judge Adobe Flash vs Microsoft Silverlight

Speaking in Las Vegas at the MIX 08 conference, Ballmer said he was concerned about Apple's plan, unveiled on Thursday, to let developers sell applications for the iPhone on iTunes and take a 30 percent cut of revenues. Ballmer suggested that Apple might charge Microsoft similarly to get Silverlight on the iPhone, though there is so far no evidence to support this belief.

"It sure seems like they're trying to charge a whole lot more money for it," he said. "Maybe Apple isn't welcoming open and royalty-free runtimes on it."

Ballmer's comments about the iPhone were made in response to an audience question during a keynote address at Microsoft's third annual conference for web developers. The question was framed by news not only about iPhone applications, but also because on Thursday, Apple revealed it has licensed Microsoft's ActiveSync technology for the iPhone. ActiveSync allows email to be pushed directly to mobile devices from Microsoft's Exchange Server.


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