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Microsoft readies streaming Silverlight video for iPhone

updated 01:35 pm EST, Fri November 27, 2009

Flash remains inaccessible

Microsoft has demonstrated Silverlight video streaming for the iPhone, according to reports. The technology relies on server-side transcoding and HTML 5's video tag, but displays Silverlight content in a native MPEG-2 v8 format recognized by the iPhone's version of QuickTime. "So it's the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now I can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the iPhone. That's the critical thing for our customers," says Microsoft User Experience platform manager Brian Goldfarb.

The technology is further said to have the blessing of Apple, which may be unusual given the company's position on the more ubiquitous Flash standard. No version of Flash is allowed on the iPhone as a result of performance concerns, particularly in regards to battery life. The standard is nevertheless available on competing devices, such as the Android-based HTC Hero. Efforts to produce a version of Flash that Apple might accept have so far proven fruitless.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Very important for Netflix on the iPhone.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    only a stupid marketing trick

    no Silverlight technology is actually involved. If you actually parse through the double-speak, basically they are announcing the ability to serve web pages with h.264 video in them to iPhones. Silverlight, the plugin technology MS is trying to use to take of Flash, is not involved AT ALL. This is a server-side only thing, which uses Microsoft's IIS product.

    And of course, since this isn't a plugin (because Apple won't let Microsoft do that, anymore than they are letting Adobe or anybody else make plugins for the iPhone Safari browser), content that 'must' be wrapped in DRM because of content providers paranoia won't be able to be streamed to iPhones, because Apple is still keeping all that iPhone DRM goodness to itself...

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: marketing trick

    Yes, this is a server-side that precisely as it should be! I don't even have any Microsoft software or plugins on my computer, so there's no chance they're getting their grubby mitts on my iPhone!

  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969


    silverlight? iphone?


  1. jonno2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    very misleading, nothing to do with sliverlight

    This has precisely nothing to do with Silverlight. So Silverlight can play h.264 videos? So can Flash. In this instance, neither are, it's just that the webpage was written to substitute a tag if the client doesn't have a sliverlight plugin. Precisely the same thing can be done with a flash detection script. Then the MIME type is simply changed on the server, and the video streams. It's a total non story.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft says:

    "Since a majority of people aren't using our proprietary, non-standard format, we'll allow you to convert from ours to a standard format. Please use our software anyway!"

    Way to back your product there guys.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: very misleading

    Not really misleading. This is no different than QuickTime Streaming Server (you know, the grand tech Apple released years ago and then never touched again).

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