Maybe it’s just me, but when I read that Bill Gates had inked an exclusive deal with NBC to deliver live and on-demand Olympics coverage on MSN with its Silverlight, cross-browser, cross-platform video plug-in, I saw a new world of online video opening up.
In the past, online video has gotten a great deal of interest, but it’s never been really big business. Oh, people love their YouTube videos, many sites use Adobe Flash to add, well, flash, to their sites; some people legally download online video via iTunes for Apple TV and iPods, and far more skirt the law and company policies with illegal video downloads via various BitTorrent sites. Now, for the first time to my knowledge, a major “television” event is being made available over the Internet… if you use Microsoft Silverlight.
Now, I will give Microsoft credit. They could have made Silverlight Windows-specific, but they didn’t. Microsoft and Novell are working together to bring Silverlight to Linux Web browsers with Moonlight. Microsoft is already supporting Silverlight on Mac OS X.