Netflix (s NFLX) streaming could be coming to mobile devices by the end of the year, but the iPhone might not be the first platform to support it, as has been widely anticipated. Instead, that honor might belong to devices that are built on Microsoft’s (s MSFT) Windows Phone 7 Series operating system.
At Microsoft’s MIX10 developer’s conference, the company gave a preview of some third-party mobile applications that will run on the new OS, which is set to ship on devices by the end of 2010. That includes a Netflix app prototype that was demoed by Scott Stanfield, CEO of Vertigo, the mobile development company that created the app.
If all the features from the prototype make it into a final version of the app, subscribers with Windows Phone 7 devices will be able to view new releases and recommended movies, manage their video queues, and watch full-length videos even when they are not in front of a computer or other connected device that stream Netflix movies. Because the Windows Phone 7 OS supports Microsoft Silverlight streaming, Netflix will be able to stream to mobile devices using the same video assets that it streams to laptops connecting to its online Watch Instantly service.
Despite comments from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that streaming video to mobile devices isn’t a priority, the company sent out a survey to some subscribers to gauge their interest in the development of an Apple (s AAPL) iPhone app. Now it appears that an app could be available on the Windows mobile platform before an iPhone app appears. While Stanfield didn’t designate a date for launch, the app could possibly be released as soon as mobile devices for the platform appear later this year.
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