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Microsoft Announces New Support for Silverlight by Content Companies Worldwide

PRESS RELEASE


April 2008

At the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. announced significant momentum for Microsoft Silverlight resulting from new customers adopting Silverlight to deliver richer, more interactive media experiences on the Web. Building on recent support from major content providers such as AOL and NBC Olympics.com on MSN, Microsoft announced new adoption of Silverlight by media and content companies worldwide, including Madison Square Garden (MSG) Interactive, Tencent, Abertis Telecom, Terra Networks Operations, SBSi, MNet and Yahoo! JAPAN.

“It’s exciting to see broad industry recognition and rapid adoption of Silverlight across the world,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “Silverlight offers customers and partners the highest quality creation and delivery of media, protected content, advertising and rich Internet applications, and we are committed to making it easy for partners to integrate and extend Silverlight capabilities.”

Media Companies Worldwide Choose Silverlight to Power Connected Rich Internet and Media Web Experiences

With an average of 1.5 million daily downloads of the Silverlight plug-in, and growing, adoption of Silverlight around the world continues to accelerate momentum for compelling online media experiences for consumers. Media companies in particular — with an increasing emphasis on utilizing the Internet as a channel for content and new revenue streams — are taking the lead in delivering innovative new Web experiences.

Among those media companies announcing Silverlight-based projects are the following:

  • MSG Interactive is using Silverlight as a platform to deliver live on-demand digital content to its huge community of sports and entertainment fans.

  • Tencent, China’s largest Internet portal, with more than 300 million unique viewers, announced it is developing a series of Silverlight-based next-generation Internet services and media experiences.

  • Abertis Telecom will use Silverlight as the platform for a new video content delivery channel going live this spring, which will provide end users with convenient access to dozens of channels of Spanish-language TV content within a single Web-based application.

  • Terra Networks is using Silverlight as the platform for the new HD channel on Terra TV, its online video and TV platform with service in 18 countries in Latin America and United States reaching millions of subscribers around the world.

  • Announced last week, Yahoo! JAPAN, the most trafficked Web site in Japan, plans to roll out video distribution and Internet services that use Silverlight as the application platform.

    “Our implementation of content services enabled by Microsoft Silverlight has significance for both Yahoo! JAPAN and Microsoft,” said Masahiro Inoue, CEO of Yahoo! JAPAN. “We strive to respond promptly and appropriately to the constantly evolving Internet environment and customer needs, and I have high expectations that our use of Silverlight will enable us to provide better services to our customers.”

    Recently, at MIX08, Microsoft outlined new capabilities of its end-to-end media platform — including Silverlight 2, Expression Studio 2 and Windows Server 2008 — which offers industry-leading streaming and progressive download capability with Windows Server 2008. In addition, Microsoft presented support for new Silverlight advertising scenarios, and companies such as Microsoft Atlas, DoubleClick Inc., EyeWonder Inc. and Panache were already showing how Silverlight enables next-generation in-stream advertising to better monetize the assets of content owners.

    At MIX08, Microsoft also announced a strategic alliance with Move Networks, a leading provider of advanced video delivery services. At NAB 2008, Move Networks Inc. is demonstrating a technology preview of Silverlight-based unique branding and navigation elements within, around and on top of Move Networks’ video technology.

    New Microsoft Content Protection Support in Silverlight Increases Opportunities for Vibrant Content Marketplace

    Silverlight-based content delivery can be protected using a variety of techniques, including Web and streaming playlists, authentication, authorization, stream encryption and digital rights management (DRM). Today Microsoft unveiled details of Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady, the content protection support coming later this year in Silverlight.

    Silverlight DRM builds on Microsoft’s extensive expertise and experience in content protection and support for hundreds of millions of media players and devices worldwide.
    In addition to being compatible with the broadly deployed base of Windows Media DRM 10 content, Silverlight DRM will support live streaming, on-demand streaming and progressive downloads for connected experiences. With the extensibility and openness of Silverlight, third-party solution providers will also be able to build and offer content owners additional choices for their media protection needs.

    A number of content owners, aggregators and service providers including BUYDRM, Daum Communications Corp., iMBC Co. Ltd., Limelight Networks, M-Net Media, Netflix Inc., Paramount Pictures, SK Communications, SBSI, a subsidiary of SBS Media Group, and Technicolor have announced their support for the content protection solution to be provided in Silverlight, due to the technology’s proven foundation and support.

    “As the dynamics of content distribution continue to accelerate toward the Internet, we need a flexible technology platform that allows us to explore a broad scope of business models and rich user experiences for digital distribution of Paramount Pictures’ wide array of content,” said Dr. Alan Bell, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Paramount Pictures. “With Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady, Microsoft is bringing nearly a decade of heritage in DRM and content access to the table to deliver a solution with a strong technology foundation — allowing us to provide legal alternatives to our audiences enabling them to consume our content in whatever browser or platform they prefer.”

    Microsoft will be demonstrating a technology preview of Silverlight DRM at the NAB Show in booth SL5520, and has introduced a preview program for customers to learn more about Silverlight DRM. Additional information, including licensing terms for Silverlight DRM, is available at http://microsoft.com/silverlight.

    Many content owners, aggregators and solution providers have announced their support and interest in Silverlight DRM including the following:

    “The deployment of Silverlight DRM via the KeyOS Pay Media Platform will offer customers a flexible, robust business-centered rights management solution that will broaden the consumer marketplace for pay media,” said Christopher Levy, CEO of BuyDRM and Microsoft MVP for Digital Media. “We have been working closely with Microsoft to develop one of the industry’s first Silverlight DRM-enabled services offering that is flexible, easy to deploy and provides powerful rights management solutions for a variety of industries.”

    “Limelight Networks is a long-time content delivery partner of Microsoft, and was one of the first to support the initial Silverlight experience. We’re pleased today to announce our support for Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady, so that content producers leveraging our high-performance CDN can enable highly secure, profitable streaming experiences through Silverlight 2 technologies,” said Adam Wray, vice president, strategic alliances, Limelight Networks Inc.

    “Netflix has used Windows Media DRM 10 to protect the 7,000 choices of movies and TV episodes that our 7.5 million members can watch instantly on the PC,” said Neil Hunt, chief product officer for Netflix. “We look forward to expanding platform coverage using Silverlight with PlayReady, which is expected to satisfy industry requirements for content protection and simplify and improve the end-user experience.”

    “The announcement of Microsoft PlayReady and its availability on our platforms will reinforce the position of S60 on Symbian OS as the leading mobile platform for Internet innovation,” said Lee Williams, senior vice president, Nokia Devices Software. “In March we announced that we would bring Silverlight to S60, as well as our Series 40 and maemo platforms. We have also been working with Microsoft for some time on digital rights management. The combination of Silverlight and PlayReady further extends business and monetization opportunities for the industry and raises the bar for rich, interactive consumer experiences.”

    “DRM is an integral part of the Technicolor Electronic Distribution Services offer, with Windows Media DRM playing a key role in our technology,” said Mark Langford, vice president, marketing & product management, Thomson Technicolor Electronic Distribution Services. “More recently we’ve expanded our proficiency to include Silverlight, a tool that is exceptionally designed to offer a very compelling user interface for media on the Web. The new support for PlayReady will help us complete the offering of our next generation Live Streaming platform that is based on Silverlight and targeted at tier-one media and entertainment companies.”

    “Telstra BigPond, as Australia’s leading provider of audio and video, has been using Windows Media DRM for years and with Silverlight’s support for PlayReady — the latest generation of Microsoft’s media DRM,” said Craig Middleton, group manager, Corporate Relations, Telstra BigPond. “BigPond is looking forward to working with these latest technologies to further enhance its innovative and world-class video and audio content offering to the Australian market place.”


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