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Microsoft Unveils Silverlight Streaming

Microsoft today announced Silverlight Streaming, a media-hosting service the company says will allow developers to stream into their Silverlight apps high-quality video and other media stored for free on Redmond's servers.

Silverlight, formerly codenamed Window Presentation Foundation/everywhere (WPF/e), is Redmond's new "cross-platform, cross-browser" plug-in for delivering rich Internet applications. Content hosted on Silverlight Streaming can be created in Microsoft Expression Media Encoder, part of a suite of new tools for Web and application designers, or in third-party editing environments, the company said.

Silverlight Streaming supports up to DVD-quality media, which can be embedded directly into Web pages and rich Internet applications however designers and developers wish, without any restrictions on branding, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie and General Manager Scott Guthrie, who leads the team that developed Silverlight, made the announcement Monday during their keynote address at the MIX07 show in Las Vegas.

Silverlight Streaming supports standard scripting languages and features an extensive library of application programming interfaces (APIs), according to Microsoft.

Additional information posted to Microsoft's Web site after the speech put the storage limit at 4 gigabytes of Silverlight-formatted rich media and applications per user.

While Silverlight has widely been seen as Redmond's move to protect itself against the increasing popularity of Adobe System's Flash media plug-in, the Silverlight Streaming announcement also may have ramifactions for Microsoft rival Google. Google agreed to buy the popular YouTube video-hosting Web site in October for $1.65 billion.

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