Real, Microsoft stoke streaming media battle

Sat, 08/31/2002 - 8:00pm

RealNetworks Inc. and Microsoft Corp. upped the streaming media ante recently, with each company introducing a new streaming platform designed to outdo the other.

For its part, RealNetworks took the open road with the unveiling of "Helix," a platform for the creation of digital media products and applications "for any format, operating system or device."

RealNetworks launched the initiative with the support of 29 companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Nokia, nCUBE, Oracle, Sony, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments and TiVo.

RealNetworks said this "Helix Community" will tap the platform to build a "standard infrastructure" for encoders, servers and client products. But, instead of giving away Helix's source code, RealNetworks is providing two ways for developers to use the technology: a "community source license" to help them build compatible products, and a broader "public source license."

Helix will have to contend with "Corona," the codename for Microsoft's next-generation digital media platform. Windows Media 9 Series, the platform's formal name, is comprised of a new media player, streaming server, audio and video compression scheme and software development kit.

Microsoft said it plans to release a beta version of those components on Sept. 4


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