Democratic Convention to Show Video Using Silverlight

Democrats' Plans Rely on Beta Version of Silverlight 2

The technology behind the high-definition streaming video, by contrast, is a pioneering venture. The DNCC plans to use Microsoft Corp.'s new Silverlight 2 cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in to deliver rich media and interactive applications. Silverlight 2 isn't even due for public release until the fall, so the DNCC will use beta software, according to Microsoft.

"There are some incredible applications that have been built on this platform, and it's becoming more and more popular," said Aaron Myers, the DNCC's director of online communications, mentioning NBC's plan to use Silverlight 2 to stream high-quality Olympic footage. "Some of the features that you can bring to video on Silverlight, without revealing what we're going to do, are pretty impressive - things that other people are not doing in video." (NBC Sports also plans to use Silverlight in its web-based videos during the upcoming Beijing Olympics.)

One of Silverlight 2's distinguishing characteristics is that, as a subset of Microsoft's .Net Framework, it can be used with .Net development tools. Silverlight 1.0, released a year ago, had "little uptake because it was essentially a JavaScript-centric media player plug-in," according to Gartner Inc. Silverlight 2, in contrast, is a substantial technical step forward for Microsoft as it strives to compete with Adobe's popular Flash and Flex, a Gartner report in March stated.

Democratic convention officials said they are aware that Silverlight 2 is still in beta and reiterated their confidence in the new release and the convention's partnership with Microsoft.

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