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Microsoft Eats Own Dogfood with Streaming Media

In an effort to show the scalability of the streaming media software to be included in Windows .NET Server, Microsoft announced on Wednesday that its joint venture with NBC, the MSNBC news Web site, has been running the beta code for more than two months.

According to MSNBC's director of technology Mike Corrigan, the MSNBC.com site is using the same hardware to get nearly twice the performance out of the Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server that it gets out of the Windows Media Services in Windows 2000 Server.

While the testimonial of a partially-owned subsidiary must be treated with a grain of salt, the message shows that Microsoft appears confident that it is achieving a Windows .NET Server design goal of tuning the Windows 2000 kernel performance in the Windows .NET Server generation to bring significant performance gains without requiring hardware upgrades. It is a major difference from the Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 transition, which saw substantial new hardware requirements.

The MSNBC Web site has not completely flipped the switch to the new code yet. The site averages 10 million streams per month. In two months of service, the Windows .NET Server streaming service has delivered about 7 million of those streams.

Windows Media Services in Windows .NET Server represents the first deliverable in the "Corona" streaming content platform Microsoft unveiled in December. Eventually, Corona will include audio and video codecs, a player and developer tools. Microsoft's stated aim for the platform is to "effectively eliminate" buffering delays in content streaming scenarios.

The Windows .NET Server family is supposed to be released to manufacturing by the end of the year.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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