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Microsoft's Cloud-Based PaaS Offering: Windows Azure Media Services

Stream video to HTML5, Flash, Silverlight, Windows 8, iPad, iPhone, Android, Xbox, Windows Phone and other clients

"Building a media solution that encodes and streams video to various devices and clients is a complex task," blogged Microsoft's Scott Guthrie this week. "It requires hardware and software that has to be connected, configured, and maintained. Windows Azure Media Services makes this problem much easier by eliminating the need to provision and manage your own custom infrastructure," he added.

Used last year by several broadcasters to stream the London 2012 Olympics, Windows Azure Media Services is now live in production, and Guthrie's blog introduced it in great depth.

"With Windows Azure Media Services, you can stream video to HTML5, Flash, Silverlight, Windows 8, iPad, iPhone, Android, Xbox, Windows Phone and other clients using a wide variety of streaming formats:


Building a media solution that encodes and streams video to various devices and clients is a complex task.  It requires hardware and software that has to be connected, configured, and maintained.  Windows Azure Media Services makes this problem much easier by eliminating the need to provision and manage your own custom infrastructure.  Windows Azure Media Services accomplishes this by providing you with a Media Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables you to easily scale your business as it grows, and pay only for what you use."

As a developer, Guthrie pointed out, you can control Windows Azure Media Services by using REST APIs or .NET and Java SDKs to build a media workflow that can automatically upload, encode and deliver video.

Click here to watch my extensive 2006 interview live from Microsoft's HQ in Redmond with Scott Guthrie.

"We’ve also developed a broad set of client SDKs and player frameworks which let you build completely custom video clients that integrate in your applications.  This allows you to configure and control every aspect of the video playback experience, including inserting pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, and overlay advertisement into your content," he continued.

You can read his full blog announcing the general availability (GA) release of the solution here. Meantime, let me give the last word to Guthrie:

"Windows Azure Media Services provides a large set of client player SDKs for all major devices and platforms, and they let you not only reach any device with a format that’s best suited for that device - but also build a custom player experience that uniquely integrates into your product or service.

Your users can consume media assets by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as Windows, iOS, XBox, etc.  At this time, we ship SDKs and player frameworks for:

  • Windows 8
  • iOS
  • Xbox
  • Flash Player (built using Adobe OSMF)
  • Silverlight
  • Windows Phone
  • Android
  • Embedded devices (Connected TV, IPTV)

To get started with developing players, visit the Developer tools for Windows Azure Media Services. The SDKs and player frameworks contain player samples that you can use as-is or customize with very little effort"

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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