Silverlight stat quotes

Wall Street Journal had an article today, and it has already been picked up at Seeking Alpha and other sites. Here is the line which sounded strange to me:

“Adobe’s Flash player is installed on about 98% of Internet-connected PCs, and Silverlight is only installed on about 25%, according to Adobe and Microsoft.”

The first part is okay — it’s a rare computer which doesn’t have Adobe Flash Player 9 or better already installed, and almost everybody already has H.264 support — it’s the “SL at 25%” which was news to me, particularly when attributed to Adobe.

Closest match I’ve seen was the equivocal “Over 1 in 4 computers on the Internet now have some version of Silverlight installed” quote from Scott Guthrie last month. RIAstats.com shows SL2 support at 10% on the general sites they sample.

I checked with my partners here this morning, and the Adobe speakers apparently did not offer such a Silverlight quote. Best guess is that the sentence would be more clearly phrased as “Adobe’s Flash Player 9 is installed on about 98% of Internet-connected PCs, according to Adobe, and some version of Silverlight is only installed on about 25%, according to Microsoft.”

Whether 10% or 25% doesn’t matter much in the larger scheme of things — the core question is “What does it cost your audience to use?”, and we’ve only seen new Player apps start to spontaneously appear when up above 80% existing consumer support. In case you were wondering about the WSJ quote or its echoes, it seems to be a typo.

There’s also an interesting bit on the pay-for-play angles of trophy-site adoption: “When CBS Corp.’s college sports group decided to build its Web site using Silverlight earlier this year, Microsoft chipped in free development and support that ‘reduced our costs tremendously,’ said Tom Buffolano, the CBS business unit’s former chief. A CBS spokesman declined to comment.”

Summary: No big thing, but we didn’t say it was such a big thing, in case you were wondering…. ;-)