Feeds

Microsoft targets Barmy Army with Silverlight

Broad front, not deep pockets

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft was embarrassed when Major League Baseball dumped Silverlight, the company's fledging browser-based media player it had signed onto in less than a year.

It was the second blow to Silverlight. NBC - who'd used Silverlight to stream its Olympics coverage - picked Adobe Systems' Flash for its online NFL coverage last autumn rather than Silverlight.

Microsoft's trying to prove Silverlight is ready for business. And a component of that involves winning and keeping big names in the camp against Flash and AIR from Adobe.

Having lost MLB and NBC's football in the US, Microsoft has now flagged up its latest win for Silverlight: cricket on the subcontinent.

Silverlight will be used to broadcast more than 500 hours of live and on-demand video content from the official website of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The site - IPLT20.com - last year recorded 50.2 million page views, 10 million visits, and five million unique visitors during the course of the six-week season, Microsoft has said.

The goal this season is for 400 million page views, 45 million visits, and 10 million unique visitors. To provide some context, NBC's Olympics coverage on Silverlight pulled in 1.3 billion page views and saw 52.1 million unique visitors.

There's still much to play for in the rich-internet applications market, and Microsoft's still in the race. NBC has said it will use Silverlight to stream next year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Early technical problems with Silverlight that saw MLB dump the player may have been solved in its latest edition, Silverlight 3, and Microsoft may have the Winter Olympics, but there's one big problem Microsoft and Silverlight must still overcome: the ubiquity of Flash. Organizations building and selling content will continue to target what's already out there rather than take a chance helping push a new platform.

It's one thing for Microsoft's executives to sign big deals with flagship customers, but there's a gap between this world and the real world of what customers' end users and consumers are using.

Microsoft's done a great deal of work to make it easier to download Silverlight, but download you still must. And much of the content that uses Silverlight still only comes from Microsoft.

Uptake of Silverlight as a medium for building and streaming content is going to rely on more than flagship customers. It's going take slow-and-steady permeation of the player during the next few years on a broad front, rather than pockets of success. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
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.
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.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.