Microsoft's Flash killer, Silverlight, is on track to get digital rights management just like the company's latest Windows client, Windows Vista. Microsoft has faced a barrage of criticism over the content protection capabilities in Vista, and the subject is bound to yet again come into play with Silverlight 2.
The NAB Show 2008 was the stage where the Redmond company announced new adopters of the Silverlight technology including Madison Square Garden (MSG) Interactive, Tencent, Abertis Telecom, Terra Networks Operations, SBSi, MNet and Yahoo! JAPAN. This context will undoubtedly lead to an increase in uptake of the Silverlight browser plug-in, which is designedjust as Adobe Flash, to offer interactive and rich media experiences over the Internet.
"It’s exciting to see broad industry recognition and rapid adoption of Silverlight across the world. Silverlight offers customers and partners the highest quality creation and delivery of media, protected content, advertising and rich Internet applications, and we are committed to making it easy for partners to integrate and extend Silverlight capabilities," revealed Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft.
But at the same time, Microsoft is bound to feel some pain over the decision to include content protection capabilities into Silverlight. According to the Redmond company, the move is designed to foster a vibrant content marketplace, with materials that can be accurately protected in scenarios involving digital rights management, but also Web and streaming playlists, even in cases of streamed encryption, and even when authorization and authentication are required. Silverlight DRM will be Powered by PlayReady and is planned for availability by the end of 2008.
"In addition to being compatible with the broadly deployed base of Windows Media DRM 10 content, Silverlight DRM will support live streaming, on-demand streaming and progressive downloads for connected experiences. With the extensibility and openness of Silverlight, third-party solution providers will also be able to build and offer content owners additional choices for their media protection needs," Microsoft explained.