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Summary:

Microsoft officially announced its Silverlight 2 media player today. The new version will be available for download starting tomorrow. Microsoft also announced that it has signed new customers for the video player, including CBS College Sports.

Microsoft officially announced the release of its Silverlight 2 media player today; the new version will be available for download starting tomorrow. Microsoft also said it’s signed up new customers for the video player, including CBS College Sports.

The Silverlight 2 beta underwent a pretty massive stress test as it was the video player NBC used for the most recent Olympics; according to a Microsoft press release, the player served up 70 million video streams and 600 million minutes of video watched. Silverlight was also used by broadcasters in France, Russia and other countries to deliver the games online.

But the Olympics did more than put Silverlight through its paces. Microsoft said that the Olympics boosted its market penetration for Silverlight in the U.S. by more than 30 percent. But that stat rings a little hollow as the company didn’t offer up a definitive number of people using Silverlight.

On a conference call today, Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer division at Microsoft, said that “one in four consumers now have access to a machine that has Silverlight installed,” and that he expects Silverlight to be running on hundreds of millions of PCs “very quickly.”

Microsoft also announced a host of new customers that will be using Silverlight, including CBS College Sports, Blockbuster’s MovieLink movie service, Home Shopping Network and Hard Rock Cafe International.

The online video battle between Microsoft and Adobe is certainly heating up. Silverlight 2 is available imminently and Adobe’s Flash 10 is in beta.

  1. So, is MSFT saying that it has 25% penetration vs. over 90% for Adobe.
    Also, can MSFT bundle it with all the myriad Service Pack offerings for Vista. That’s a way of increasing penetration.

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  2. Microsoft today announced the release of version 2.0 its world-beating Silverlight multimedia platform for the Web. As a replacement for Adobe’s Flash, it is widely considered utterly superfluous and of no interest to anyone who could be found.

    “We have a fabulous selection of content partners for Silverlight,” announced Microsoft marketer Scott Guthrie on his blog today. “NBC for the Olympics, which delivered millions of new users to BitTorrent. The Democrat National Convention, which is fine because those Linux users are all Ron Paul weirdos anyway. It comes with rich frameworks, rich controls, rich networking support, a rich base class library, rich media support, oh God kill me now. My resumé’s a car crash, Google won’t call me back. My life is an exercise in futility. I’m the walking dead, man. The walking dead.”

    Silverlight was created by Microsoft to leverage its desktop monopoly on Windows, to work off the tremendous sales and popularity of Vista. Flash is present on a pathetic 96% of all computers connected to the Internet, whereas Silverlight downloads are into the triple figures.

    “But it’s got DRM!” cried Guthrie. “Netflix loved it! And web developers love us too, after all we did for them with IE 6. Wait, come back! We’ll put prn on it! Free prn!”

    Similar Microsoft initiatives include its XPS replacement for Adobe PDF, its HD Photo replacement for JPEG photographs and its earlier Liquid Motion attempt to replace Flash. Also, that CD-ROM format Vista defaults to which no other computers can read.

    In a Microsoft internal security sweep, Guthrie’s own desktop was found to still be running Windows XP.

    (My blog rant: http://tinyurl.com/6rxgnd )

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