Feeds

Microsoft buys $15m stake in Akamai

That's one in the eye for Apple's QuickTime strategy

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Microsoft yesterday joined Apple and Cisco in pouring money into Internet access acceleration specialist Akamai. Microsoft will write Akamai a cheque for $15 million, but it's not yet clear how much of the company it will get for its investment. Cisco spent $49 million and received a four per cent stake -- Apple owns five per cent of the soon-to-IPO company for a measly $12.5 million investment made just a month before Cisco's. At that rate of inflation, Microsoft will get hardly anything. Not that that may matter, since the deal's advantages lie elsewhere. And for Microsoft the deal certainly is advantageous. For a start, it gets to stick one on Apple. Apple is using Akamai's global network of servers to power its push for control of the streaming media market. Akamai's system mirrors data to sites across the world and transparently connects users requesting data from, say, Apple's software download site, to the server nearest to them. Apple's QuickTime already offers a superior image quality to the likes of Real Networks' RealSystem G2 and Microsoft's Windows Media Technologies, but it needs a solid, fast network to ensure users' get sufficiently decent playback performance to notice the picture quality. Now, however, Microsoft will be doing the same thing, diminishing Apple's quality lead at a stroke. At the same time, third-parties who want to make use of Akamai's system won't be steered toward QuickTime is the streaming media format of choice. The deal with Akamai will also see the software that makes Akamai's network work being ported over to Windows NT. That's not too much of a blow for Apple, but it is one in the eye for the Linux world, currently the only OS that Akamai supports. NT support also signals Akamai's expansion of its strategy from simply offering a network for streamed media to providing corporate networks with the same functionality. That means growing the number of server OSes the company supports, and we can probably expect various varieties of Unix to be added to NT and Linux in the future. The deal is less of a threat to Cisco, which made its investment to gain access to Akamai's technology in order to build it into future router and switch products. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.