Microsoft is promising streamable 1080p high-definition video via its updated Smooth Streaming technology in its latest assault on Adobe's Flash.
As reported over on BetaNews
, the company is hoping that its Smooth Streaming technology will offer usable 1080p streaming video from servers running its IIS web server and IIS Media Services.
Originally developed to stream footage from the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, the technology is capable of streaming both 720p and 1080p on-demand content to browsers running Microsoft's Silverlight – the company's answer to the ubiquitous Flash Player from rival Adobe. Smooth Streaming is also capable of making live feeds available via a rate adaptive method to ensure maximum quality.
The latest updates to the technology bring support from a range of commercial organisations: as well as the contract to stream the 2010 Winter Olympics via NBC in both live and on-demand 720p flavours, a range of content providers have signed up to IIS and Silverlight in order to get their videos to the masses.
Smooth Streaming isn't alone in the high-definition market, however: Adobe's Flash Media Server 3.5 has already proven that it can stream 1080p content in tests with CBS Interactive, and YouTube has been offering 720p streaming via Flash since the end of last year. With Flash proving the de facto standard in streaming video, Microsoft is going to have its work cut out in making Silverlight anything but a bit player.
Do you think that Smooth Streaming – and the promise of watchable 1080p content at normal broadband speeds – could be Silverlight's saviour, or should Microsoft concede this battle to Adobe's far more popular Flash? Share your thoughts over in the forums