MS Releases Silverlight Plugin Competitor to Flash Player

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The most important media news this week may be the release by Microsoft of the “Web (RTW) Silverlightâ„¢ 1.0, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering richer user experiences on the Web.”

This is direct and real competition with Adobe’s Flash player used by most leading web video services.

“Entertainment Tonight,” HSN and World Wrestling Entertainment as well as several Microsoft Web initiatives including the “Halo® 3” preview, Tafiti.com and The Podium ’08 are using the Silverlight.

In addition, Microsoft will work with Novell Inc. to deliver Silverlight support for Linux, called Moonlight, and based on the project started on mono-project.com.

This steps up competition in video space much more than anything Apple had to say today. It may make things more complicated but it will also likely spur lots more innovation in web video.

Here’s a video about what Microsoft is doing with Silverlight:


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