Silverlight to stream video to the iPhone

Ronny Kerr · November 27, 2009 · Short URL:

As Apple refuses Adobe efforts to bring Flash to iPhone, Microsoft Silverlight steps into limelight

iPhone SilverlightMicrosoft would have to be everyone's least likely guess for the company that would deliver any significant technology, let alone streaming video, to Apple's precious iPhone.

And yet, reports have been floating around this week that Microsoft has already begun demonstrating Silverlight video streaming, one of the most essential desktop browser functions, on the iPhone.

Microsoft Silverlight, similar to Adobe Flash, is a web application framework that enables developers to create rich Web applications designed to look the same across multiple operating systems (Linux, Mac OS, Windows) and multiple platforms, like the wealth of mobile devices slowly taking over the market.

"The promise of Silverlight is that it's a cross-device, cross-browser, cross-platform solution, and it works the same on Macs as it does on Windows," Microsoft User Experience Platform Manager Brian Goldfarb told Betanews. "So we've worked with Apple to create a server-side based solution with IIS Media Services, and what we're doing is taking content that's encoded for smooth streaming and enabling the content owner to say, 'I want to enable the iPhone.' The server will dynamically make the content work -- same content, same point of origin -- on the iPhone."

This news appears even more striking to veteran Internet users since Silverlight, released in April 2007, is relatively late to the game when compared with its number one competitor, Adobe Flash, which was first introduced in 1996--ancient times in Internet terms.

Apple has yet to allow Adobe to run Flash on its popular smartphone, citing performance concerns and the possibility of draining battery life as reasons for blocking the framework. Nevertheless, Flash is available on competing devices, like the Android HTC Hero.

Whether Microsoft has solved battery performance issues with Silverlight or whether the company is simply more willing to cooperate with Apple's demands is unknown.

(image source: Betanews)

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