Technology

Microsoft outlines its vision for creating, managing, experiencing content













MUMBAI: At the ongoing National Association of Broadcasters (Nab) conference Microsoft is showcasing its advanced media platform technologies and broad partner ecosystem that enable media and entertainment companies to create and manage nearly endless varieties of media and deliver entertainment experiences to their customers.


Microsoft is highlighting its range of solutions for the media and entertainment industry, including two new products launched at Nab 2007: Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Interactive Media Manager

 

Other advancements being announced by Microsoft include a new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder software developer kit (SDK).


Microsoft will also detail new collaborations with leading organisations such as Ascent Media Group, McCann Worldgroup, Showtime Networks, Starz Entertainment, SyncCast and TV Guide.


Microsoft GM communications sector Michael O‘Hara says, "The transformation of the media and entertainment industry and the introduction of a new digital supply chain make powerful software platforms and solutions essential to the success of media businesses.


"Microsoft‘s offerings support the entire content life cycle and help companies create and manage digital content, as well as provide a rewarding end-user experience. Unique among technology suppliers to the media and entertainment industry, Microsoft provides the business systems and IT infrastructure that media and entertainment companies need."

 

Content Creation: Microsoft says that it provides the foundational technologies that help media companies create rich media content quickly and efficiently. This week at
Nab 2007, Microsoft is expanding its efforts with new solutions and alliances that further reduce the barriers to creating and distributing content across a variety of mediums.


Microsoft Silverlight is a new cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web. Silverlight integrates with existing Web technologies and assets to provide higher-quality experiences with lower costs for media delivery.


Delivered to end users through an installation, Silverlight offers consistent experiences to both Macintosh and Windows users on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. Early supporters of the new platform include Akamai Technologies, Brightcove, Eyeblaster, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball, NaviSite, Netflix, Skinkers, Sonic Solutions, Tarari, Telestream . and Winnov.


The new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder SDK being announced offers video encoding solutions providers with faster encode times, new features optimised for various video distribution channels, and ease of integrating the latest updates from Microsoft without having to re-engineer their applications. In addition, Microsoft and Sonic Solutions have entered into a commercial agreement to broadly deploy Microsoft‘s advanced VC-1 encoding technology, known as the PEP Encoder, in the professional HD title-creation industry.


Managing Content : Digital media has spawned an almost unimaginable amount of data the company notes. Not only are the volumes immense, but the multitude of data types and formats adds even more complexity. Microsoft and its partner ecosystem give media businesses the tools to make digital media an asset, not a burden.


At Nab, Microsoft is introducing Interactive Media Manager, a server-based solution that enables organisations to better manage the complexity inherent in the digital content life cycle, from content creation to management to distribution. The solution, an extension of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, is designed for organisations in the media and entertainment industry, including film, television and postproduction studios; broadcasters; game developers; publishers; and advertising and marketing agencies.


Microsoft is highlighting the unique problems that Interactive Media Manager and other Microsoft solutions help address for companies in the media industry including Ascent Media Group, McCann Worldgroup, Starz Entertainment and SyncCast.


At Nab Gemstar-TV Guide International announced the launch of the TV Guide Online Video Guide. The video search product, which is being launched as a beta, is now available on www.tvguide.com. It provides users with a way to search for and browse a wide range of professional and high-quality independent video content available on the Internet.


The Online Video Guide is built on Microsoft .Net Framework 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. SharePoint is the key technology used to index and catalog the enormous amount of video metadata, while providing quick and relevant search results.


Microsoft is also playing a role in a broadband gaming venture from Showtime, called On Broadband Networks, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of this year. Microsoft is providing the technologies and services that form a foundation upon which On Broadband Networks will develop and deliver a robust online gaming platform targeting broadband operators.

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