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Microsoft, Akamai beef up video quality on PCs

Tue, 10/28/2008 - 8:15am
Mike Robuck

Microsoft and Akamai Technologies said they’re pulling their resources together in order to enable high-definition quality experiences on PCs.

According to a joint press release, Akamai will release a beta version of a new service, powered by Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Silverlight, to deliver rich Internet applications via the world's largest HTTP edge network.

Microsoft is introducing new Web server technology, called Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7.0) Smooth Streaming, which Microsoft said gives consumers instant start-up times and no buffering by adapting the quality of the video stream in real time based upon changing connectivity speed. This enables companies to boost brand awareness and advertising revenues by extending average viewing times. According to Microsoft and Akamai, companies can also benefit from network scalability using distributed HTTP-based Web servers.

"Smooth Streaming is an evolution of proven Silverlight technology that has powered global online events," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .Net Developer Division at Microsoft. "Our objective has always been to provide a platform that enables next-generation media experiences on the Web. Together with Akamai, we will take that a step further by offering a consistently superior adaptive streaming experience on a global scale."

Akamai will be building upon this technology with a new service, Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight, which will be deployed across the company's globally distributed network to bring a platform with HD scale to media companies worldwide. The service is expected to be available to select Akamai customers in a beta release early next year.

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