Going to the Dark Side

Apr 01 2008 Published by under Flash, Silverlight

[EDIT – OK, now that it is April 2nd, enough heart attacks. The following is an “April Fool’s” joke. This is an odd American custom where we lie to our friends on April 1st. :)]

As many of you know, last year I got invited out with several other bloggers to Microsoft for a full day briefing, culminating in a pretty intimate one-hour meeting with Bill Gates. As I kind of expected, a couple of people spoke to me about the possibility of working for Microsoft. At the time, I politely turned them down, not being overly interested in working with Silverlight or MS products. But, I did get a free copy of Visual Studio and Expression Suite, and played around a bit. You saw some of my postings at that time, and I wasn’t too impressed overall.

However, the conversation has continued, and Silverlight 2.0 is here and really has blown me away. As much as I love the Flash community and platform, and as much as I owe it my success to date, I have to consider the long term and where the future lies in this industry. I don’t think there’s any question that Silverlight is just going to get bigger and bigger, and I’m not sure Adobe has what it takes to keep its platform going strong in the face of that.

With all that in mind, I have decided to accept a job offer. I’ll be working directly with the Expression Blend team, hopefully brining some of the great experience making capability of Flash over to the Silverlight platform. Don’t hate me. You, too, will see the light eventually.

57 responses so far

  • Ozgur Uksal says:

    congratulations man.

  • Martin says:

    I almost hated you!
    Thank god it’s this time of the year, fiuuh!

  • Kenny Bunch says:

    Best news all day. I personally have quit programming to herd flying pigs. Pigs just seem to be the way of the future. Wait what day is it ;).

  • Rick Mason says:

    You had me scared for a little while until I remembered that nothing anyone writes online today is true.

  • nicholas says:

    Yeah…. weird, why would you make yourself sound so terrible?

  • Mark says:

    haha. Awesome.

  • Fabianv says:

    Oh my god.. you gave me a heart attack.

  • Bill says:

    Welcome on board!

  • Ben says:

    You had me for about 4 seconds 🙂

  • kp says:

    LOL. I just gave Mr. Chris Allen a stroke. 🙂

  • koopa says:

    Evil man! Just for that, I hacked into your server and deleted some old flash files.

  • Congratulations, Keith. You had me totally believing you. Not that that’s very difficult to do. 🙂

  • yohami says:

    This was really, really scary.

  • Tangent says:

    Guys, today is April 1 … and I am sure Keith is pretty darn serious here.

  • Oh, it seems I’ve started to see the light just after reading your post. That Light is Silver (and sometimes it blinks with Gold). Finally, my eyes can see clearly after all those years of blindness.

    God Bless You!

  • Jimbo says:

    I felt physically sick when I read that post…I’m still hoping that it’s a cruel evil April Fools Day joke…Don’t do that man!

  • kathryn says:

    nice try, keith. happy april fools!

  • Marteinn says:

    Best joke today by far!

  • Step Schwarz says:

    You know, I saw “Silverlight 2.0 Animation: Make Things Move!” listed as coming soon on the Friends of ED site — 1170 pages?! — and I expected an announcement like this might be coming… congratulations!

  • James Allen says:

    Hey Keith, congrats, I just found this video of Silverlight 2.0 and thought you might want to see it. ;P


  • Ronny says:

    You had me going there… Good one 🙂

  • Rob Toole says:

    Obi-Wan: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

    Wait it’s a joke.

  • kp says:

    james: doh!

  • kp says:

    Step Schwarz: yeah, i’m familiar with the book. In fact, they’ll be using a lot of the same examples and format that my book did. They asked me if that was cool and I said yes. No joke there. 🙂

  • kp says:

    Actually, maybe you were joking. But there is this: http://friendsofed.com/book.html?isbn=9781590599761, which is what I thought you were referring to.

  • senocular says:

    Wow, I was THIS close to start circulating this around the office… It’s APRIL 1st moron! I have to keep telling myself this.

  • kp says:

    actually….. ok, no, that’s not the book either. Maybe it’s not even on the site yet. But there will be a silverlight animation book by FoED. I think it may be in very early planning / writing stages though.

  • Chris Allen says:

    I now know what a stroke feels like. Thanks Keith! It was tough, but I’m now able to type this. Since Keith is going to M$, Infrared5 is considering moving completely over to Silverlight projects. I mean if you can’t beat em, join em, right? I’m scrapping Red5 now too, and will begin work on an open source Windows Media Server. Thanks for showing me the light Keith!

  • Ivan Sosa says:

    I`m from Colombia and I don`t live in the US, so I didn`t know today was Fool`s day, so I bought it completely!!! I almost had a heart attack! Keith is one of my inspirations as a Flash developer, and I thought it was for real!!!!
    You almost got me man! dont ever leave the good side of the force! please!

  • simon says:

    you got me scared. i looked like an idiot passing the news to the other dev 🙂

  • Todd says:

    Haha! Nice! You scared the crap out of me for a while there!

  • brock says:

    With all the crossdomain scripting and security headaches Adobe has been causing me lately, I was briefly encouraged that switching to Silverlight might be a viable option at some point. Damn you.

  • polyGeek says:

    You know, you could have said that you were going to work for Yahoo instead of MS. And then by extension of other April Fools jokes you would in fact be working for MS.


  • cf_mario says:


  • Evan Mullins says:

    Nice! Best one I’ve seen all day. What a great day. =)

  • dominic says:

    I felt really sick reading that post! my hands are still shaking

  • kp says:

    Holy crap, over 32 comments in just a few hours. I think that’s a record for me. (OK, several are my own comments.) But I have to say, it’s touching to see the reactions. Scared, sick, heart attacks. Don’t worry, I think I’ll be doing Flash for a while. And I’m not particularly worried about the future of the platform. I’ve actually been talking to some Adobe folks and hearing some of the plans for Flash, Flex, and AS3 in the next few releases, and there is some REALLY exciting stuff being worked on. Like, WOW!!! kind of stuff. I wouldn’t miss that.

  • mich says:

    You scared one of my students – he wondered if he was going to have to start school over to learn Silverlight now (which we don’t teach). I looked at the rss feed, thought “what the hell is he doing to Chris?” Then I noticed the date on my calendar and told my student to calm down. Thanks for the laugh 🙂

  • Chris Allen says:

    haha! Mich, that’s classic, “start school over”! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for thinking of poor me. 😉

  • JF says:

    Until there is a Silverlight SDK that’s usable on Mac/Linux… I’m not even going to download the plugin. But that’s just personal frustration at being excluded.

  • kp says:

    I hear you JF. I actually did get a free copy of Visual Studio from MS, but I don’t want to use up the space on my Mac Book Pro by putting it in the Parallels XP install, so using it requires going to a whole other computer. If there were a Mac native authoring environment, I’m sure I’d play around a lot more with Silverlight.

  • Aral Balkan says:

    Darn you, Keith! I’m on the train back from London after a night spent drinking way too much fine Lebanese wine with Tim Ferris and you actually made me write “wow, Keith Peters is working for Microsoft now” in my notebook before I had my doh moment. 🙂

  • Great one : ). It says a lot when, “Silverlight 2.0 blew me away” is immediately recognized as an April fool’s joke!

  • shadow says:

    well you are great! so, many company want you! it should be that,tools have no soul.but you,hope you bring new things.

  • Gread says:

    The last line is the best…..

    You know Microsoft should get the rights to that Blues Brothers scene with James Brown as the preacher
    JB : “Do you see da light!!!!”
    Jake: “Yes … yes”
    JB : “Do YOU see da light!!!!”

    Then again … for Adobe Flash … There are sooo many marketing ideas ….
    Flash the Movie (Queen music score) “Flash ….. oh oh … savior of the universe”

    Sorry … I had too much tequila tonight … It being Tequila Tuesday … (In my mind anyway)

  • eme says:

    Fool’s day is 28th Dec in Spain.
    I almost delete you from my rss reader!

  • Yeh Keith, had me going ’til I remembered that Sparkle is just a myth. What? hang on, you mean MS really have got a flash killer? Holy bollox batman, I thought THAT was an April’s Fool.

    POLL: Who here as a child dreamed of falling in love with a computer program development environment?

    As your therapist my advice would be not to worry too much about being caught cheating on Flash. If you see another platform you fancy, go for it, even if it’s only for a quick cash job. Flash will always have you back and won’t bear any grudges, try and sue you, or sieze custody of the lovely apps you once made together.

  • tPS says:

    You got me, but just because its April 2nd already as i am reading this.

  • “You, too, will see the light eventually.”

    Are you crazy ? you convinced me for 2 second, 2 second of fear !

  • Excellent – I didn’t read this until the 2nd, but still wanted to congratulate you on a job well done.

  • Gilbert says:


    Good one men. Well, if you eventually move to the dark side, you have a topic for a new book. Foundation Silverlight 2.0, Making Things Move!

  • dustin says:

    crazy story, its April 4th now and i decided to check back on this post and really get a grasp on all the reasons you went to the darkside. I originally read your post on google ig rss feeds, so i saw none of the comments mentioning it was april fools day. I have to say i felt hurt and decieved one of those jedi moments as someone else said. I was pretty devastated by the post. I cracked up laughing with excitement when i saw the edit and april fools. I have to say that this was probably the most effective april fools joke i saw this year. Much kudos!

  • dustin says:

    i have to say it was probably most believable due to all of the big players moving around, (and joining infrared 5).

  • lmao, ok I was out of town with a client so I heard the story before I read the post! You, Keith have one hell of a sense of humor…. 😉

  • John Grden says:

    you’re a sick individual. It’s April 5th and I’m just reading this thinking “if Chris doesn’t end his life, I surley will”

    Nice – 4 days later and you’re still getting bites.


  • Hi,
    Prima Aprilis (April Fool’s) is not an american custom:) but it’s celebrated in other countries as well i.e. Poland

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