Monday, January 07, 2008

Microsoft, NBC partner with Silverlight

Ah, CES. That wonderful productivity drain there to meet geeks everywhere as they return to their desks after a long holiday break. The gadget event perfectly timed to remind you that you didn't get everything you needed at Christmas. And amid all the activity at this year's event is one important keynote near and dear to all Microsoft developers: Bill Gate's final CES appearance. As Mr. Gates prepares to end his daily duties at Microsoft this summer, he enjoyed one last CES keynote full of frivolity and self-deprecation, complete with video appearances by Bono, Jay-Z, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Spielberg (what a motley crew). About as close as it comes to a roast at CES.

Meanwhile, buried in this keynote were some actual Microsoft announcements. Most important to this audience, it was announced that Microsoft has secured NBC as a solid Silverlight partner. The announcement says that NBC will use Silverlight exclusively for delivering all online video. Well, all Olympics 2008 video, to be precise (Engadget got it wrong in their live coverage).

This is quite the coup for Microsoft since NBC current uses Flash for all of its other video distribution. Officially, NBC picked Microsoft for their Olympics video distribution, but you have to wonder if any money changed hands to sway the traditionally Flash shop. There is also no indication in the announcement that NBC will begin to replace it's main Flash based site with Silverlight content, but the possibility definitely exists now that NBC is using the technology. If that did happen, then we'd see some serious plug-in distribution.

For now, add this announcement to the list of partners helping get the auto-updating Silverlight plug-in distributed around the world. Maybe one day Microsoft's own MSN Video will join that list and further help the cause.

3 comments:

Chris Catto said...

Pretty big news. Thx 4 the info.
Catto

Anonymous said...

respected commentator Paul Thurrot had this to say about this announcement:

"2008 Olympics. Microsoft announced that NBC will (sort of) utilize Microsoft's Silverlight Web technologies for its 2008 Olympics. What's really happening is that MSN will be broadcasting video highlights from the Olympics and since MSN is owned by Microsoft, they'll use Silverlight to make it happen."

if true this seems more realistic unfortunately (for Silverlight fans)

Todd Anglin said...

@Anon-

While Paul is a great commentator on Microsoft in general, he's a little weak in understanding the developer tools area. That said, he's not technically wrong, the Olympic highlights online will be broadcast by MSN, but in partnership with NBC (think MSNBC). Still, this is -the official- online source for Olympics video, so it doesn't diminish the size of the potential audience come this summer.

Futhermore, it should not be taken for granted that just because it's MSN Silverlight is going to be used. I offer MSN Video as exhibit A.

-Todd