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Monday, April 16, 2007
Microsoft Unveils its "Flash Killer"

Today at the NAB2007, Microsoft unveiled Microsoft Silverlight, a new plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web.

Silverlight technology is designed to take on Adobe's ubiquitous Flash interactive Web animation system, as part of Microsoft's strategy to go head to head with Web and design tools powerhouse Adobe.

Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball and Netflix Inc.

Microsoft Silverlight, previously called Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/E), integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery, according to the company. Silverlight offers works with both Macintosh and Windows as well as on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

"Content providers are seeking a way to deliver rich interactive applications using the tools and skills they already have. They want an end-to-end solution that enables them to rapidly reach multiple platforms with reasonable deployment costs," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Microsoft Silverlight delivers on this need and marks a real step forward for the industry. Silverlight is the only solution in the market today that enables content creators to tap into the broad ecosystem for Windows Media technologies while taking the Web?s rich interactive application experience to new levels."

Silverlight uses Windows Media Video (WMV), Microsoft?s implementation of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) VC-1 video standard, enabling immediate compatibility with the millions of hours of content already available on the Web, and adds support for interactive video experiences that scale from full-screen high-definition (HD) to mobile scenarios.

Silverlight is also compatible with the Windows Media-enabled tools and solutions, and the Windows Media technologies. Silverlight will also deliver digital rights management support built on the recently announced Microsoft PlayReady content access technology ? with feature parity on Windows and Mac.

Microsoft also plans to optimize other components of its software platform to add value to Silverlight. For example, the forthcoming Windows Server, code-named Longhorn, will include as a plug-in the IIS7 Media Pack, which adds new features to enhance and reduce the cost of delivering rich media over the Web.

Microsoft Silverlight will be shown in Microsoft Booth SL3213, in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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