Microsoft reveals new content partners, DRM for Silverlight

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Microsoft on Monday unveiled new content partners for its Silverlight technology and provided details of a forthcoming digital rights management (DRM) technology for its multimedia platform.

The company made these announcements to promote the use of its Silverlight multimedia development and deployment technology to broadcasters at the annual NAB Show 2008 in Las Vegas.

Among the companies that now have projects based on Silverlight are Madison Square Garden (MSG) Interactive, Tencent, Abertis Telecom, Terra Networks Operations, SBSi, MNet and Yahoo Japan, Microsoft said.

Specifically, MSG Interactive is using Silverlight to provide users with live, on-demand digital entertainment and sports content, while Abertis Telecom is using the platform as the basis for a new Spanish-language video channel that will go live in the next couple of months. Terra Networks also plans to use Silverlight to deliver a new high-definition (HD) channel on Terra TV, an online video and TV service that serves 18 countries in Latin America and the U.S.

Meanwhile, the two Asian companies—Tencent, a Chinese Internet portal, and Yahoo Japan—said they will use Silverlight for future video distribution and Internet services.

On Monday, Microsoft also unveiled details of a new DRM technology for streaming live content called Silverlight DRM. The technology is based on Microsoft’s PlayReady technology and is expected to be available later this year when Microsoft releases Silverlight 2.

Microsoft said Tuesday that Silverlight DRM will be compatible with Windows Media DRM 10 content and is aimed at protecting content that is streamed live or on-demand. The company is giving NAB 2008 attendees demonstrations of Silverlight DRM in its booth at the conference.

Microsoft unveiled Silverlight last year to compete with Adobe’s Flash multimedia runtime and player; however, Microsoft has optimized Silverlight for HD video content in particular as a way to differentiate its technology from Flash.

According to Microsoft, Silverlight is logging about 1.5 million downloads per day, which includes downloads spurred by Microsoft running Silverlight on its own Web sites and for company Webcasts.

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