SOFTWARE MONOPOLIST Microsoft is about to release a batch of technology in a bid to make its proprietary interweb video codec Silverlight more palatable to content creators and the great unwashed.
Today the Vole announced plans to release Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0, which enables delivery of interactive, high-definition-quality Live Smooth Streaming and new tools to simplify the process of sticking Silverlight encoded videos online.
At the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam, the Vole will show off developments in Microsoft Silverlight 4, including native multicast support and support for offline DRM.
It will release its IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol and Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) specification, which is being done under its faux open sauce style agreement called "Microsoft Community Promise".
Microsoft has had some success in getting customers for Silverlight, including Canal+, France 24, NBC Sports, Sat. 1, ProSieben and TV 2.
Frederic Vincent, business development manager of Canal+, which already uses Windows Media Player, said that the Vole's Silverlight "provides more accessibility and simplicity to our users", who we guess are a fairly simple lot.
"It uses Silverlight and PlayReady, we can run our Web TV services such as Foot+ on most Internet browsers while maintaining a high level of content security," Vincent said. Silverlight works on PCs and the expensive PC clone, the Apple Mac.
In an early preview of Silverlight 4 media-specific features, the Vole showed off what its next generation of movie experiences could do even when saddled with its offline PlayReady DRM.
The Vole has done this in the hope of getting the movie studios and retailers to get behind the idea and provide the same "rich interactive experiences" via digital copy and Internet distribution as consumers get with DVD or Blu-ray.
A spokesVole said that Silverlight 4 will enable movie studios to offer network-delivered updates, special offers and live events, and flog more than just one or two movies to punters. µ