Microsoft Outlines Its Vision for Creating, Managing and Experiencing Content at NAB2007
This week at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (NAB2007), Microsoft Corp. 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 stunning entertainment experiences to their customers.
Microsoft is highlighting its entire range of solutions for the media and entertainment industry, including two new products launched at NAB2007: Microsoft® Silverlight™ and Microsoft Interactive Media Manager. Other advancements being announced by Microsoft at NAB2007 include a new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder software developer kit (SDK) and the expansion of the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) partner ecosystem. Microsoft will also detail new collaborations with leading organizations such as Ascent Media Group Inc., McCann Worldgroup, Showtime Networks Inc., Starz Entertainment, SyncCast and TV Guide.
“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,” said Michael O’Hara, general manager of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “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.”
Microsoft provides the foundational technologies that help media companies create rich media content quickly and efficiently. This week at NAB2007, 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 a seamless, fast 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 Inc., Brightcove Inc., Eyeblaster Inc., Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball, NaviSite Inc., Netflix Inc., Skinkers, Sonic Solutions, Tarari Inc., Telestream Inc. and Winnov.
The new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder SDK being announced offers video encoding solutions providers with faster encode times, new features optimized 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 high-definition title-creation industry.
Digital media has spawned an almost unimaginable amount of data. 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.
This week at NAB2007, Microsoft is introducing Interactive Media Manager, a server-based solution that enables organizations 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 organizations 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.
Improving the Content Experience
Consumers are increasingly demanding in how they experience content. They want personalized content, tailored to their specific interests and lifestyles, and they want to receive that content on their preferred devices — televisions, computers, mobile phones and portable digital players — anytime, anywhere.
Microsoft is continually enriching the consumer experience with new platforms that make content more engaging and enjoyable, and new services that make it accessible to a wider audience. Several related announcements were made this week.
Microsoft TV announced additional top technology suppliers providing technologies that support the award-winning Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform, which is being deployed by several leading service providers worldwide. Support from partners AMD, Intel Corporation, Pirelli Broadband Solutions, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Thomson illustrates the accelerating growth of the IPTV industry and Microsoft’s commitment to working with a broad range of solutions providers to ensure ongoing industry innovation while allowing service providers the flexibility to choose from a variety of technologies to deploy IPTV services.
Also at NAB2007, Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., a leading media, entertainment and technology company, is announcing the launch of the TV Guide Online Video Guide. The video search product, which is being launched as a beta, is now available on http://www.tvguide.com. It provides users with a comprehensive 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 playing a key role in a broadband gaming venture from Showtime, called On Broadband Networks, which is scheduled to be launched in the second half of 2007. 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.
The Microsoft Ecosystem
Microsoft continues to place tremendous value in its customer and partner relationships to enhance core Microsoft technologies. The following companies are demonstrating their solutions in Microsoft Booth SL3213 (in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center): Anystream Inc., Aspera, Digital Rapids Corp., Equilibrium, Inlet Technologies, OmniBus Systems, Open Text’s Artesia Digital Media Group, Quantum Corp., SyncCast, Tarari, Telestream, TV Guide, ViewCast Corp. and Winnov.
Building on their successful Frontline Partnership, Microsoft and HP are collaborating at NAB2007. HP is “powering” the Microsoft exhibit at NAB2007, providing the hardware supporting all the solution demonstrations for Microsoft and participating partners. HP is supplying a full range of infrastructure, including c-Class blades, an EVA6000, ProLiant servers, ProCurve switches, workstations, desktops, monitors, Pavilion notebooks and MediaSmart HDTVs.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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