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Olympics, NBC and Silverlight

SymbolImage by Saffanna via Flickr

I read this post from the “The Herald Tribune” the “Global Edition of the New York Times”, the post was titled “Microsoft leveraging Silverlight and riling critics” and it really about made me puke.

The were criticizing Microsoft for the closed solution:

But there’s a catch. To view the video, it will be necessary to download a Microsoft Web browser software component based on a new proprietary technology, Silverlight, that is intended to make it possible to display interactive animations, graphics, audio and video, all within a fixed window inside a Web browser display.

But in the next flippin’ paragraph they say this:

Silverlight will work for both Macintosh and Windows PC users, and a version for Linux is also available. A mobile version will be available on Windows Mobile and Nokia smartphones.

Excuse me – what makes that differnet from Flash or Quicktime?  Ummm…nothing.  Well really – it is different because I’m not sure they support all those formats.

The post then goes on to say that it doesn’t allow enough room for innovation:

“They’re still playing the same games,” said Michael Nelson, professor of Internet studies at Georgetown University. “It’s a way to lock up the content, and it’s not enabling as much innovation as we would like to see.”

Have they seen what this thing can do?  What NBC and Microsoft has done with the Olympic video is just wicked cool.  I’m spent about 2.5 hours using it last night and I was so happy.  Instead of watching gymnastics like the other NBC viewers – I watch Judo, Archery and Greco Roman Wrestling – LIVE.

Yes LIVE.  It was awesome.  The only thing missing was commentary – but it was so great.  Super quality – and I do not have a very fast internet connection.  I was amazed.

All I say – kudos to NBC for letting go of the control and allowing people to see what they want, when they want it.  (For the most part – it seems there may be a little issue with the simulcast of TV/Internet)  Microsoft – for leveraging the Silverlight platform to show some new cool video applications and The New York Times – for not getting it…at all.  :)

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