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British TV firm dumps Silverlight

Gone in a Flash

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In a blow to Microsoft, ITV has switched the technology powering its web streaming service from Silverlight to Adobe's more widely installed Flash.

It's understood the move, quietly carried out on Friday, was motivated by a simple need for the commercial broadcaster to reach the greatest possible number of web viewers. The popularity of the BBC's rival iPlayer exploded when it launched a Flash version in 2007, after struggling as a P2P download application.

"ITV can confirm it has switched from Microsoft's Silverlight to Adobe Flash to support the ITV Player on ITV.com," a spokeswoman said today.

ITV had been using Flash for elements of its web services for some time, including catch up streams of its flagship Saturday night plebwarblefest X Factor, so a total defection from Silverlight isn't unexpected.

Offering soothing words to Redmond, ITV's spokeswoman continued: "ITV continues to use Microsoft's products extensively to develop and deliver solutions to our viewers."

Indeed, but that doesn't much help Silverlight, which in two years, as The Wall Street Journal explains today at length, has failed to make a dent in Flash's dominance. ®

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